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  • WordNet 3.6
    • v speculate reflect deeply on a subject "I mulled over the events of the afternoon","philosophers have speculated on the question of God for thousands of years","The scientist must stop to observe and start to excogitate"
    • v speculate to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds "Scientists supposed that large dinosaurs lived in swamps"
    • v speculate 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 "We were speculating whether the President had to resign after the scandal"
    • v speculate invest at a risk "I bought this house not because I want to live in it but to sell it later at a good price, so I am speculating"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: When Charles Darwin published his theory on human evolution in The Descent of Man in 1871, not a single fossil that was known to be pre-human had been found to back up his ideas. Although his theory was later proved to be true, it was formulated entirely without physical evidence and based almost completely on speculation.
    • v. t Speculate To consider attentively; as, to speculate the nature of a thing.
    • Speculate To consider by turning a subject in the mind, and viewing it in its different aspects and relations; to meditate; to contemplate; to theorize; as, to speculate on questions in religion; to speculate on political events. "It is remarkable that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most pefect quietude to the external regulations of society."
    • Speculate (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; as, to speculate in coffee, in sugar, or in bank stock.
    • Speculate (Philos) To view subjects from certain premises given or assumed, and infer conclusions respecting them a priori.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: You know the three physical dimensions, and the fourth dimension, time. For years, people have speculated about other dimensions. Experts in theoretical physics now say the major theories about the universe make sense together - and all the math seems to work - if there are 10 dimensions.
    • speculate To view as from a watch-tower or observatory; observe.
    • speculate To take a discriminating view of; consider attentively; speculate upon; examine; inspect: as, to speculate the nature of a thing.
    • speculate To pursue truth by thinking, as by mathematical reasoning, by logical analysis, or by the review of data already collected.
    • speculate 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.
    • speculate 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.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Speculate spek′ū-lāt to look at or into with the mind: to consider: to theorise: to traffic for great profit
    • ***


  • Charles Baudelaire
    “For the merchant, even honesty is a financial speculation.”
  • George Earle Buckle
    George Earle Buckle
    “In practical life the wisest and soundest people avoid speculation.”
  • Samuel Butler
    “What is faith but a kind of betting or speculation after all? It should be, I bet that my Redeemer liveth.”
  • Bernard M. Baruch
    “A speculator is a man who observes the future, and acts before it occurs.”
  • William Hazlitt
    “If the world were good for nothing else, it is a fine subject for speculation.”
  • F. W. Hirst
    F. W. Hirst
    “If there were no bad speculations there could be no good investments; if there were no wild ventures there would be no brilliantly successful enterprises.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. speculatus, p. p. of speculari, to spy out, observe, fr. specula, a lookout, fr. specere, to look. See Spy
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. speculatus, pa.p. of speculārispecula, a lookout—specĕre, to look.


In literature:

Upon this slight foundation, a wonderful edifice of speculation was built by the credulous and imaginative people of South Norwalk.
"Bucholz and the Detectives" by Allan Pinkerton
The character of his business; whether it is speculative or staple.
"Up To Date Business" by Various
Small speculation in those eyes, that they did glare withal!
"Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History" by Thomas Carlyle
Imagine, if you can, a person being now put to death for a speculative theological opinion.
"Short Studies on Great Subjects" by James Anthony Froude
Speculation regarding the origin of the universe belongs to an early period in the development of culture.
"The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria" by Morris Jastrow
Land speculation was the fever of the time.
"Albert Gallatin" by John Austin Stevens
But just now I had no time for such speculations.
"Kilgorman" by Talbot Baines Reed
He was also an author of high aesthetical speculation.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by Isaac D'Israeli
As he plods on he speculates how the fight will start.
"Impressions of a War Correspondent" by George Lynch
My father had sold out his business in 1832 to Mr. Charles S. Boker, and since then been principally engaged in real estate and stock speculation.
"Memoirs" by Charles Godfrey Leland
The Belgian Company for the manufacture of Beetroot Sugar was another example of how speculations sometimes go wrong, and no wonder.
"Across Coveted Lands" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
And until his pea-green suit was lost to sight she speculated on his probable errand.
"Sonnie-Boy's People" by James B. Connolly
You are playing against odds when you speculate.
"Dollars and Sense" by Col. Wm. C. Hunter
But he regards speculation on this point as useless.
"Evolution in Modern Thought" by Ernst Haeckel
Well-dressed men with shaven faces and marks of culture studied the Americans speculatively.
"The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki" by Joel R. Moore
This set the whole tribe agog, and wonderful were the speculations and rumors that flew about.
"Four Years in Rebel Capitals" by T. C. DeLeon
Before they went, the two had a chance for a speculation.
"The Young Miner" by Horatio Alger, Jr.
Speculation is a luxury, while action is a necessity.
"Creative Evolution" by Henri Bergson
A speculator of this class happened to find that Matthew viii.
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II)" by Augustus de Morgan
This tulip business is, I believe, the only speculative excitement in history whose subject-matter did not even claim to have any real value.
"The Humbugs of the World" by P. T. Barnum

In poetry:

'Tis useless now to speculate,
Or grieve o'er that which might have been,
My failures though they have been great,
Are not the greatest I have seen.
"Youthful Reminiscences" by David John Scott
Fond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight,
And thence securely sees
The bustle and the rareeshow,
That occupy mankind below,
Secure and at his ease.
"The Jackdaw" by William Cowper
Moreover, in these days when Faith grows faint,
And Heaven seems blurred by speculation wild,
He, blameless as a mediaeval saint,
Had all the trust which sanctifies a child.
"In Memoriam — Nicol Drysdale Stenhouse" by Henry Kendall
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.
"Ode To The Confederate Dead" by Allen Tate
O God!—pity me, Charmion!—I am overburthened
with the majesty of all things—of the unknown now
known—of the speculative Future merged in the august
and certain Present.
"The Conversation Of Eiros And Charmion" by Edgar Allan Poe
For my treasures
Are all arrived. The caravan is safe.
I'm richer than I've been these many years.
Now tell me what you wish for, to achieve
Some splendid speculation--you in trade
Like us, have never too much ready cash.
"Nathan The Wise - Act V" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

In news:

Improv Owner Missing, Mayoral Speculation.
Too many stories and useless speculation about political polls.
Investing and speculating are the two extremes of the financial world.
Speculation is rampant that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will cost Hayward his job.
Based on other non-arctic sightings of Ross's gulls, biologists speculate the bird may remain in the area for a few weeks.
After months of speculation, Gunner Kiel, the nation's top high school quarterback, has committed to Indiana, according to multiple reports.
Though there was much speculation about it in the beginning, it seems as if Britney Spears is actually a really great mom.
I'll let those more expert in domestic politics speculate on the final debate's impact on the election and comment instead on what it might tell us about the future of American foreign policy.
Positive growing weather across the Midwest, low levels of speculative buying, and a stronger US Dollar all weighed on the futures markets.
News of the death of Afsheen Musarrat, 22, quickly gave rise to speculation.
As widely speculated, Robert Greenblatt confirms that the 13-episode seventh season will be its last.
Sale Ends Weeks of Speculation.
People who should know better have been speculating publicly that the government might need to nationalize our largest banks.
There's been a lot of speculation over the past few days, fueled by a Bloomberg Businessweek story, that General Motors (GM) has been building too many pickup trucks.
That should end the speculation.

In science:

Let us speculate a bit on the structure of the group R.
Solutions to WDVV from generalized Drinfeld-Sokolov hierarchies
We will speculate briefly on this at the end of the paper.
Breakdown of Conformal Invariance at Strongly Random Critical Points
While evidence for this speculation is not yet conclusive (see for instance, Amb jorn, Anagnostopoulos, Bietenholz, Hotta, and Nishimura, 2000), it is clearly important to develop a deeper understanding of this model.
M(atrix) Theory: Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Fundamental Theory
The origin of anomalies is speculated to be modulation of effective ferromagnetic coupling by the Friedel oscillation.
Anomaly in Spin Excitation Spectrum of Double-Exchange Systems with Randomness
We speculate that randomness induces modulation of effective exchange coupling due to the Friedel oscillation.
Anomaly in Spin Excitation Spectrum of Double-Exchange Systems with Randomness
We speculate that the origin of the anomalies is modulation of effective exchange coupling by the Friedel oscillation.
Anomaly in Spin Excitation Spectrum of Double-Exchange Systems with Randomness
Here we would like to provide some tentative answers to these questions by speculating on how these mathematical structures fit into the representation theoretical framework we have developed in previous sections.
Quantum Field Theory and Representation Theory: A Sketch
However, the measurements presented above seem to indicate a 2.8 σ deviation from SM expectation and have led to speculations about evidence of new physics .
R-parity-violating SUSY and CP violation in B --> phi K_s
Nevertheless, this is quite speculative, and it is not unlikely that this staggered behavior arises from terrestrial factors.
The Spiral Structure of the Milky Way, Cosmic Rays, and Ice Age Epochs on Earth
In the remainder of this section, we will speculate a bit on how this might work.
The additive dilogarithm
Herant (1995) already speculated about such a possibility.
Explosion Mechanisms of Massive Stars
In this speculative final section we briefly examine the behavior of a general additive functional Xn induced by a given “small” toll sequence (tn ).
Additive functionals on random search trees
We speculate on possible applications of this effect in spintronic devices.
Persistent Spin Currents in Helimagnets
The results of this and the following section are more speculative.
Observations of cluster substructure using weakly lensed sextupole moments
However, this speculation still needs to be confirmed with additional data.
Classifications of the Host Galaxies of Supernovae, Set II