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speculate

Line breaks: specu|late
Pronunciation: /ˈspɛkjʊleɪt
 
/

Definition of speculate in English:

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, form theories, hypothesize, make suppositions, postulate, guess, make guesses, 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 shares
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, take a risk/chance, venture, take a venture, wager;
British informal have a flutter, punt

Origin

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

Derivatives

speculator

1
noun
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.

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