Definition of speculate in English:

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speculate

Pronunciation: /ˈspekyəˌlāt/

verb

[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.
Synonyms
conjecture, theorize, hypothesize, guess, surmise;
think, wonder, muse
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.
Synonyms
gamble on, take a risk on, venture in, wager on;
invest in, play

Origin

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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: spec·u·late

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