• WordNet 3.6
    • n speculation continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature "the habit of meditation is the basis for all real knowledge"
    • n speculation a hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or conjecturing (usually with little hard evidence) "speculations about the outcome of the election","he dismissed it as mere conjecture"
    • n speculation a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence
    • n speculation an investment that is very risky but could yield great profits "he knew the stock was a speculation when he bought it"
    • ***
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.
    • Speculation A conclusion to which the mind comes by speculating; mere theory; view; notion; conjecture. "From him Socrates derived the principles of morality, and most part of his natural speculations .""To his speculations on these subjects he gave the lofty name of the “Oracles of Reason.”"
    • Speculation A game at cards in which the players buy from one another trumps or whole hands, upon a chance of getting the highest trump dealt, which entitles the holder to the pool of stakes.
    • Speculation Any business venture in involving unusual risks, with a chance for large profits.
    • Speculation Examination by the eye; view.
    • Speculation Mental view of anything in its various aspects and relations; contemplation; intellectual examination.
    • Speculation Power of sight. "Thou hast no speculation in those eyes."
    • Speculation The act of speculating.
    • Speculation The act or practice of buying land, goods, shares, etc., in expectation of selling at a higher price, or of selling with the expectation of repurchasing at a lower price; a trading on anticipated fluctuations in price, as distinguished from trading in which the profit expected is the difference between the retail and wholesale prices, or the difference of price in different markets.
    • Speculation The act or process of reasoning a priori from premises given or assumed.
    • ***
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.
    • n speculation The act or state of speculating, or of seeing or looking; intelligent contemplation or observation; a viewing; inspection.
    • n speculation The pursuit of truth by means of thinking, especially mathematical reasoning and logical analysis; meditation; deep and thorough consideration of a theoretical question. This use of the word, though closely similar to the application of speculatio in the Latin of Boëthius to translate θεωρία, is chiefly due to 1 Cor. xiii. 12, “now we see through a glass, darkly,” where ‘glass’ is in the Vulgate speculum. But some writers, as Milton and Cowper, associate the meaning with specula, ‘a watch-tower.’
    • n speculation In philosophy, sometimes, a purely a priori method of philosophizing: but commonly in philosophy the word has the meaning 2, above.
    • n speculation The investing of money at a risk of loss on the chance of unusual gain; specifically, buying and selling, not in the ordinary course of commerce for the continuous marketing of commodities, but to hold in the expectation of selling at a profit upon a change in values or market rates. Thus, if a merchant lays in for his regular trade a much larger stock than he otherwise would because he anticipates a rise in prices, this is not termed speculation; but if he buys what he does not usually deal in, not for the purpose of extending his business, but for the chance of a sale of the particular articles at a profit by reason of anticipated rise, it is so termed. In the language of the exchanges, speculation includes all dealing in futures and options, whether purchases or sales.
    • n speculation A game at cards, the leading principle of which is the purchase of an unknown card on the calculation of its probable value, or of a known card on the chance of no better appearing during the game, a part of the pack not being dealt. Synonyms Hypothesis, etc. See theory.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Speculation act of speculating: mental view: contemplation: theory: the buying goods, &c., to sell them at an advance, any more or less risky investment of money for the sake of unusually large profits
    • ***


  • 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.”
  • Bernard M. Baruch
    “A speculator is a man who observes the future, and acts before it occurs.”
  • Henry Ford
    “Speculation is only a word covering the making of money out of the manipulation of prices, instead of supplying goods and services.”
  • 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. speculatio, a spying out, observation: cf. F. spéculation,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. speculatus, pa.p. of speculārispecula, a lookout—specĕre, to look.


In literature:

Kant had been profoundly disgusted with the want of harmony in philosophical speculations.
"History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology" by John F. Hurst
The way of knowledge and speculation is to him also the way of religion and morality.
"History of Dogma, Volume 1 (of 7)" by Adolph Harnack
A great many more of these speculations are to be found in the 3rd century.
"History of Dogma, Volume 2 (of 7)" by Adolph Harnack
Then there was a holy horror in all hearts of speculation.
"Lights and Shadows of New York Life" by James D. McCabe
And he had an intellect as critical and logical as it was speculative and bold.
"Apologia pro Vita Sua" by John Henry Newman
Only if he speculates with my money I shan't give it him.
"Quisanté" by Anthony Hope
And he speculated cunningly too.
"Debit and Credit" by Gustav Freytag
This was precisely the actual course on which speculation was entering in France at that moment.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4" by Various
We shall strive in our studies to keep close to fact with just enough speculation to enliven the interest in facts.
"Evening Round Up" by William Crosbie Hunter
He never speculated in stocks.
"Hidden Treasures" by Harry A. Lewis

In poetry:

Here is refugees, deserters, and speculators,
All mixed up in this dish;
They put us all in together
And call us the "milish."
"Just After The War" by Anonymous Americas
'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
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:

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers laughed off speculation Thursday that he could become President Barack Obama’s second-term Energy secretary.
Sean Payton speculation will only intensify after Garrett, Cowboys fall flat .
In regard to your recent article, we view your comments about Claire's Stores as highly speculative and irresponsible.
Timber barons can speculate on trees, land barons can speculate on selling properties but the West is not supposed to have water barons.
It's illegal under Western water law to speculate on water.
There has been much speculation and conversation surrounding the impending NPRM (notification of proposed rulemaking) by the Federal Aviation Administration concerning sUAS.
If you speculation at an on-line casino is successful in 1967.
And as the Standard points us, this is just speculation.
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has made his first public appearance since speculation about his health rose sharply last week.
We're all in limbo, so there's nothing to be done here but speculate.
Lots of radio speculation and talk today about the possibility of Phil Jackson as the next general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Since the only suspense in Charlotte was whether the President's acceptance speech would have to be moved indoors, the assembled punditocracy found it far more productive to speculate on the 2016 convention.
Mitt Romney's loss may have surprised some, and different news sites across the nation are speculating as to why he lost the 2012 election.
Diverse Speculative Buying Drives the Rally.
After months of negotiation and years of speculation, Walt Disney Co.

In science:

The proposed speculative scenario accounts for this extra energy.
Feedback Heating with Slow Jets in Cooling Flow Clusters
This speculation is given considerable more weight with our most recent observations.
Properties of Molecular Gas in Massive Low Surface Brightness Galaxies, Including New 12CO Observations of Three Malin 1 `Cousins'
We can only speculate that the more diffuse, uniformly distributed gas has been created by a continuous, but slow general outflow of material from the overall surface.
High Resolution, Long - Slit Spectroscopy of VY CMa: The Evidence for Localized High Mass Loss Events
In a recent time the solution of this problem was used to speculate about the breaking of pseudospin symmetry in heavy nuclei .
Comment on ``Kepler problem in Dirac theory for a particle with position-dependent mass''
Culberson and Gent have speculated that at the 3-COL threshold, although their spine is discontinuous, the backbone might be continuous.
Spines of Random Constraint Satisfaction Problems: Definition and Connection with Computational Complexity