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From Latin speculāris, from speculum; and in some senses from speculārī (to watch, observe). Some later senses via French spéculaire.



specular (comparative more specular, superlative most specular)

  1. Pertaining to mirrors; mirror-like, reflective. [from 17th c.]
    • 1969, Vladimir Nabokov, Ada or Ardor, Penguin 2011, p. 14:
      a perfect likeness would rather suggest a specular, and hence speculatory, phenomenon [...].
  2. (medicine) Of or relating to a speculum; conducted with the aid of a speculum.
    a specular examination
  3. Assisting sight, like a lens etc.
    • J. Philips
      Thy specular orb / Apply to well-dissected kernels; lo! / In each observe the slender threads / Of first-beginning trees.
  4. (poetic) Offering an expansive view; picturesque.
    • 1833, William Wordsworth, Hope Smiled:
      Calm as the Universe, from specular towers / Of heaven contemplated by Spirits pure.
    • Milton
      Look once more, ere we leave this specular mount.

Derived terms[edit]