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See also: spéculative



From Middle English, borrowed from Old French speculatif or directly from Late Latin speculativus, from Latin speculor.


  • IPA(key): /ˈspɛkjuləˌtɪv/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: spec‧u‧la‧tive


speculative (comparative more speculative, superlative most speculative)

  1. Characterized by speculation; based on guessing, unfounded opinions, or extrapolation.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter I, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      "Don't dare laugh at us!" smiled his sister. "I wish we were back in Tenth Street. But so many children came [] and the Tenth Street house wasn't half big enough; and a dreadful speculative builder built this house and persuaded Austin to buy it. Oh, dear, and here we are among the rich and great; and the steel kings and copper kings and oil kings and their heirs and dauphins. Do you like the house?"
    • 2013, P. L. Thomas, Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction: Challenging Genres, →ISBN, page 2:
      Like The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake is a speculative fiction, not a science fiction proper.
    • 2018, James Lambert, “Setting the Record Straight: An In-depth Examination of Hobson-Jobson”, in International Journal of Lexicography, volume 31, number 4, →DOI, page 487:
      When not inaccurate, much commentary on the contents of Hobson-Jobson is couched in hedges or relies on speculative estimates in the absence of exact information.
  2. Pursued as a gamble, with possible large profits or losses; risky.
    • 2010, Sebastian Schneider, Investments of Speculative Capital in Staple Foods, →ISBN, page 13:
      It was written between 1929 and 1930 and deals with a famine caused by speculative investments of the Meat King of Chicago, Pierpont Mauler.
    • 2011 June 4, Phil McNulty, “England 2-2 Switzerland”, in BBC:
      Tranquillo Barnetta was the grateful beneficiary of uncertain England defending and poor goalkeeping from Joe Hart as he twice saw speculative free-kicks end in the back of the net in the first half.
    • 2015 April 18, Paul Wilson, The Guardian[1]:
      Little seemed on when Sánchez cut in from the left and sent a speculative low shot through a crowd of players, but though Federici had it covered he could not hold on to the ball and it squirmed over the line through his legs.
  3. Pertaining to financial speculation; Involving or resulting from high-risk investments or trade.
    • 2001, Zhiwei Zhang, Speculative Attacks in the Asian Crisis, →ISBN, page 4:
      In other words, it is critical to know whether a currency is under high speculative pressure for every month in the sample.
    • 2014, Bradley Jones, Identifying Speculative Bubbles, →ISBN, page 9:
      Empirical tests of speculative bubbles, including those assessing early warning indicators in the context of financial crises, are forced to contend with other difficult measurement and inference issues.

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speculative f pl

  1. feminine plural of speculativo




  1. vocative masculine singular of speculātīvus