Definition of speculative in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspɛkjʊlətɪv/


1Engaged in, expressing, or based on conjecture rather than knowledge: he gave her a speculative glance
More example sentences
  • Concerns about widespread inaccuracies in online health information are speculative and intuitive rather than based on robust research.
  • They are entirely guesswork, speculative and based on unsound mathematics designed to promote the private healthcare system.
  • Atwood uses the term speculative fiction rather than science fiction.
conjectural, suppositional, theoretical, hypothetical, based on guesswork, putative, academic, notional, abstract;
tentative, unproven, untested, unfounded, groundless, unsubstantiated
rare ideational, suppositious, suppositive
2(Of an investment) involving a high risk of loss: the bonuses cannot be put at risk due to some speculative investment
More example sentences
  • Regulators fear that informal lending is fueling speculative investment in real estate and other sectors.
  • Investment is highly speculative, in that bankable reserves have not yet been identified.
  • A senior banker who did not wish to be named said there was no need to impose any additional controls on loans for speculative investments as would be needed for other kinds of investment.
risky, hazardous, unsafe, uncertain, unpredictable
informal chancy, dicey, iffy
British informal dodgy
2.1(Of a business venture) undertaken on the chance of success, without a pre-existing contract: he was involved in speculative building
More example sentences
  • ‘The days of ITspending on speculative ventures is gone,’ he said.
  • This enabled them to invest in major infrastructure projects as well as more speculative ventures.
  • You too should stick with the well-worn franchise instead of the speculative venture.



Pronunciation: /ˈspɛkjʊlətɪvli/
Example sentences
  • Vernon said the amount of suburban office space being built speculatively is likely to decrease in the coming months as global economic growth slows.
  • However the reluctance of developers to speculatively build and their ability to hold has prevented a significant decrease in value.
  • Anyone writing speculatively about a future society must deal with the problem of work.


Pronunciation: /ˈspɛkjʊlətɪvnəs/
Example sentences
  • His stories enthralled her with their ‘mixture of speculativeness, fantasy and gloominess.’
  • He is careful throughout to acknowledge the speculativeness of his hypotheses.
  • Under the common-law rule, therefore, the crucial point is not the certainty or speculativeness of the wife's interest, but rather the precise word choices made by the drafter of the trust document.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: specu¦la|tive

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