- (intransitive) To think, meditate or reflect on a subject; to consider, to deliberate or cogitate.
- It is remarkable that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society.
- (intransitive) To make an inference based on inconclusive evidence; to surmise or conjecture.
2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
- It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next; […].
- (intransitive, business, finance) To make a risky trade in the hope of making a profit; to venture or gamble.
- (intransitive, programming) To anticipate which branch of code will be chosen and execute it in advance.
to make an inference based on inconclusive evidence
to make a risky trade
- speculate in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- speculate in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911