verb1 a : to meditate on or ponder a subject : reflect b : to think or theorize about something in which evidence is too slight for certainty to be reached 2 : to assume a business risk in hope of gain; especially : to buy or sell in expectation of profiting from market fluctuations
Mia’s abrupt firing caused her coworkers to speculate endlessly about what she might have done wrong.
“In fact, he refused to comment when asked whether any negotiations even have been held recently. He also would not speculate on the odds of a pre-trial settlement.”— From an article by Roger Phillips in The Record (Stockton, California), May 1, 2014
Did you know?
“Speculate” was adopted into English in the late 16th century from Latin “speculatus,” the past participle of the verb “speculari,” which means “to spy out” or “to examine.” “Speculari,” in turn, derives from “specula,” meaning “lookout post,” and ultimately from the Latin verb “specere,” meaning “to look (at).” Other conspicuous descendants of “specere” are “inspect” and “suspect.” Some less obvious descendants are the words “despise,” “species,” “specimen,” and, as you may have speculated, “conspicuous.”