• WordNet 3.6
    • adj speculative showing curiosity "if someone saw a man climbing a light post they might get inquisitive","raised a speculative eyebrow"
    • adj speculative not based on fact or investigation "a notional figure of cost helps in determining production costs","speculative knowledge"
    • adj speculative not financially safe or secure "a bad investment","high risk investments","anything that promises to pay too much can't help being risky","speculative business enterprises"
    • ***
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.
    • Speculative Given to speculation; contemplative. "The mind of man being by nature speculative ."
    • Speculative Involving, or formed by, speculation; ideal; theoretical; not established by demonstration.
    • Speculative (Finance) More risky than typical investments; not investment grade.
    • Speculative Of or pertaining to speculation in land, goods, shares, etc.; as, a speculative dealer or enterprise. "The speculative merchant exercises no one regular, established, or well-known branch of business."
    • Speculative Of or pertaining to vision; also, prying; inquisitive; curious.
    • ***
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.
    • speculative Pertaining to or affording vision or outlook: a meaning influenced by Latin specula, ‘a watch-tower.’
    • speculative Given to speculation; contemplative; theoretical.
    • speculative Purely scientific; having knowledge as its end; theoretical: opposed to practical; also (limiting a noun denoting a person and signifying his opinions or character), in theory, and not, or not merely, in practice; also, cognitive; intellectual. In this sense (which has no connection with speculation), speculative translates Aristotle's θεωρητικός. Thus, speculative science is science pursued for its own sake, without immediate reference to the needs of life, and does not exclude experimental science.
    • speculative Inferential; known by reasoning, and not by direct experience: opposed to intuitive; also, improperly, purely a priori. This meaning was introduced into Latin by Anselm, with reference to 1 Cor. xiii. 12, where the Vulgate has speculum. Speculative cognition is cognition not intuitive.
    • speculative Pertaining or given to speculation in trade; engaged in speculation, or precarious ventures for the chance of large profits; of the nature of financial speculation: as, a speculative trader; speculative investments or business.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Speculative given to speculation or theory: ideal: pertaining to speculation in business, &c
    • ***


  • 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
Cf. F. spéculatif, L. speculativus,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. speculatus, pa.p. of speculārispecula, a lookout—specĕre, to look.


In literature:

Sand speculatively bit her lip.
"Hilda" by Sarah Jeanette Duncan
Dalgard speculated upon that, his busy imagination supplying various reasons for such tract.
"Star Born" by Andre Norton
Systematising and speculative zeal have a tendency to run ahead of their data.
"Nature Mysticism" by J. Edward Mercer
It must fall to twenty by every rule of speculation.
"The President" by Alfred Henry Lewis
He never blamed himself when rash speculations failed, and he never profited by bitter experience.
"The Swindler and Other Stories" by Ethel M. Dell
The rumor of his arrival had spread over town, and speculation was rife concerning his movements.
"A Dream of Empire" by William Henry Venable
He merely nodded, watching her speculatively.
"Man to Man" by Jackson Gregory
On the Speculative Standing of Materialism.
"A Candid Examination of Theism" by George John Romanes
Where knowledge failed speculation bridged the gap.
"Modern Religious Cults and Movements" by Gaius Glenn Atkins
He was still speculating, as he had speculated the whole way up, as to the purpose of this visit.
"The Triumph of John Kars" by Ridgwell Cullum

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
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
Fruitless speculating! none may lift the curtain
From the antedating ages and uncertain
When what is was not, and tides of pristine being
Beat on shores forgot, and all, as now, unseeing.
"A Pagan Reverie" by Frances Fuller Victor
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
All my emprises have been fill'd with Thee,
My speculations, plans, begun and carried on in thoughts of Thee,
Sailing the deep, or journeying the land for Thee;
Intentions, purports, aspirations mine—leaving results to Thee.
"Prayer Of Columbus" by Walt Whitman

In news:

Senator's Iowa trip leads to speculation about 2016 election.
A rising Republican star who many say embodies the future of the GOP, Sen Marco Rubio toyed with 2016 presidential speculators Saturday at an event in Iowa.
DA urges public to refrain from speculation.
In blog posts, at water coolers and on websites, people are endlessly speculating about the demeanor of shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes in his first courtroom appearance Monday.
Every time a beloved band reunites for live shows, some amount of will-they-or-won't-they speculation starts about the possibility they'll write new songs together.
Members of the Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency's board of directors speculated Friday at - 9:56 pm.
The two actresses used to be very close, but have not been seen together in a long time with speculation that they had a major falling out around the time Jen got together with boyfriend Justin Theroux.
But Nasdaq posts an 8-point gain as Apple raises speculation that it will introduce its iPhone 5 next week.
If Marco Rubio is chosen as Mitt Romney's vice-presidential candidate, as many have speculated, we'll soon learn a lot more about the Florida Senator and young Republican superstar.
The tight race is leading to speculation one candidate might win the popular vote, but still lose the election.
As the lead author on a recent paper published in Science Express, describing subsurface plumes from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, I find remarkable the tempo of press coverage and its keen speculation.
Now speculation is running wild that the band will tour the world with Adam Lambert as their singer in 2013.
After years of speculation and anticipation, the cast and crew of Arrested Development are finally at work on new episodes.
One such mystery has created much speculation as to whether Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos spotted the islands in 1543.
NYC mayor, subject of speculation about presidential run, now unaffiliated.

In science:

It was this conversation that started our speculation that fixedpoint computation in randomized query might be harder than local search due to the lack of a measure-of-progress.
Paths Beyond Local Search: A Nearly Tight Bound for Randomized Fixed-Point Computation
Section 7 contains some speculations about the possibility of a global version of the quotient.
Linearizing Generalized Kahler Geometry
We are only concerned with the local properties of ALPs here, and our speculations about the global structure are presented in Section 7.
Linearizing Generalized Kahler Geometry
We would like to make a few speculative remarks about the possibility of a global interpretation.
Linearizing Generalized Kahler Geometry
This leads to the speculation that sampling from the uniform measure P{ · |GN } becomes harder in this regime.
Reconstruction for models on random graphs