Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To engage in a course of reasoning often based on inconclusive evidence; conjecture or theorize.
  • intransitive verb To engage in the buying or selling of a commodity with an element of risk on the chance of profit.
  • intransitive verb To assume to be true without conclusive evidence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To view as from a watch-tower or observatory; observe.
  • To take a discriminating view of; consider attentively; speculate upon; examine; inspect: as, to speculate the nature of a thing.
  • To pursue truth by thinking, as by mathematical reasoning, by logical analysis, or by the review of data already collected.
  • To take a discursive view of a subject or subjects; note diverse aspects, relations, or probabilities; meditate; conjecture: often implying absence of definite method or result.
  • To invest money for profit upon an uncertainty; take the risk of loss in view of possible gain; make a purchase or purchases, as of something liable to sudden fluctuations in price or to rapid deterioration, on the chance of selling at a large advance: as, to speculate in stocks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To consider by turning a subject in the mind, and viewing it in its different aspects and relations; to meditate; to contemplate; to theorize
  • intransitive verb (Philos.) To view subjects from certain premises given or assumed, and infer conclusions respecting them a priori.
  • intransitive verb (Com.) To purchase with the expectation of a contingent advance in value, and a consequent sale at a profit; -- often, in a somewhat depreciative sense, of unsound or hazardous transactions.
  • transitive verb rare To consider attentively.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive to think, meditate or reflect on a subject; to deliberate or cogitate
  • verb intransitive to make an inference based on inconclusive evidence; to surmise or conjecture
  • verb intransitive, business, finance to make a risky trade in the hope of making a profit; to venture or gamble

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb talk over conjecturally, or review in an idle or casual way and with an element of doubt or without sufficient reason to reach a conclusion
  • verb to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
  • verb invest at a risk
  • verb reflect deeply on a subject

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin speculārī, speculāt-, to observe, from specula, watchtower, from specere, to look at; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin speculātus, past participle of speculor ("look out"), from specula ("watchtower"), from specio ("look at")

Examples

  • The latter instinct, I would speculate, is the ability of mammals to deny the self in favor of the herd.

    Hide this from Robin Hanson, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Yes, yes, but the freedom to speculate is essential --

    MIND MELD: Books We Love That Everyone Else Hates (and Vice Versa)

  • Linking to the same Washington Post story, Crispin Sartwell, at his eyeofthestormblogs. com, writes: "this, we may speculate, is the reason that many prisoners of the u.s. will never be released: nothing they did before, but the secrets they learned in prison, the details of their own torture, present a security risk. we will not only torment you, we will detain/disappear you for having been tormented by us."

    Balkinization

  • Linking to the same Washington Post story, Crispin Sartwell, at his eyeofthestormblogs. com, writes: "this, we may speculate, is the reason that many prisoners of the u.s. will never be released: nothing they did before, but the secrets they learned in prison, the details of their own torture, present a security risk. we will not only torment you, we will detain/disappear you for having been tormented by us."

    Balkinization

  • Linking to the same Washington Post story, Crispin Sartwell, at his eyeofthestormblogs. com, writes: "this, we may speculate, is the reason that many prisoners of the u.s. will never be released: nothing they did before, but the secrets they learned in prison, the details of their own torture, present a security risk. we will not only torment you, we will detain/disappear you for having been tormented by us."

    Balkinization

  • Linking to the same Washington Post story, Crispin Sartwell, at his eyeofthestormblogs. com, writes: "this, we may speculate, is the reason that many prisoners of the u.s. will never be released: nothing they did before, but the secrets they learned in prison, the details of their own torture, present a security risk. we will not only torment you, we will detain/disappear you for having been tormented by us."

    Balkinization

  • Linking to the same Washington Post story, Crispin Sartwell, at his eyeofthestormblogs. com, writes: "this, we may speculate, is the reason that many prisoners of the u.s. will never be released: nothing they did before, but the secrets they learned in prison, the details of their own torture, present a security risk. we will not only torment you, we will detain/disappear you for having been tormented by us."

    Balkinization

  • And on the right, I speculate, is the house we stayed in, with the missing loggia in tact.

    Campo San Vidal

  • Linking to the same Washington Post story, Crispin Sartwell, at his eyeofthestormblogs. com, writes: "this, we may speculate, is the reason that many prisoners of the u.s. will never be released: nothing they did before, but the secrets they learned in prison, the details of their own torture, present a security risk. we will not only torment you, we will detain/disappear you for having been tormented by us."

    Balkinization

  • Linking to the same Washington Post story, Crispin Sartwell, at his eyeofthestormblogs. com, writes: "this, we may speculate, is the reason that many prisoners of the u.s. will never be released: nothing they did before, but the secrets they learned in prison, the details of their own torture, present a security risk. we will not only torment you, we will detain/disappear you for having been tormented by us."

    Balkinization

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