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speculate Syllabification: spec·u·late
Pronunciation: /ˈspekyəˌlāt/

Definition of speculate in English:


[no object]
1Form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence: my colleagues speculate about my private life [with clause]: observers speculated that the authorities wished to improve their image
More example sentences
  • Dr. Penney, in his evidence, speculated that the error was a typographical one.
  • Researchers speculated that organically grown plants are subject to more environmental challenges and therefore have stronger antioxidant defenses.
  • Some speculated that it was, because there was limited evidence that another race had existed there once.
2Invest in stocks, property, or other ventures in the hope of gain but with the risk of loss: he didn’t look as though he had the money to speculate in stocks
More example sentences
  • A hedge fund borrows money to speculate in the stock market.
  • Large capitalists can invest in government bonds, or they can speculate in stocks and commodities whose price is soaring due to the inflation.
  • Amidst his wife and the other two techies, he has no interest in this new technology, happier taking walks in the quarry by a ruined church than speculating on internet stocks.
gamble on, take a risk on, venture in, wager on;
invest in, play


Pronunciation: /ˈspekyəˌlādər/
Example sentences
  • A railway boom and mania followed during the 1840s, with promoters and speculators planning lines all over Britain.
  • The year just ended was a prosperous one for stock market speculators and traders around the globe.
  • Further research revealed that he was not a farmer, but a major land speculator, merchant, or manufacturer.


Late 16th century: from Latin speculat- 'observed from a vantage point', from the verb speculari, from specula 'watchtower', from specere 'to look'.

Words that rhyme with speculate

regulate • emulate
Definition of speculate in:
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