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Webster 1913 Edition


Speculation

Specˊu-la′tion

,
Noun.
[L.
speculatio
a spying out, observation: cf. F.
spéculation
.]
1.
The act of speculating.
Specifically: –
(a)
Examination by the eye; view.
[Obs.]
(b)
Mental view of anything in its various aspects and relations; contemplation; intellectual examination.
Thenceforth to
speculations
high or deep
I turned my thoughts.
Milton.
(c)
(Philos.)
The act or process of reasoning a priori from premises given or assumed.
(d)
(Com.)
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.
Sudden fortunes, indeed, are sometimes made in such places, by what is called the trade of
speculation
.
A. Smith.
Speculation
, while confined within moderate limits, is the agent for equalizing supply and demand, and rendering the fluctuations of price less sudden and abrupt than they would otherwise be.
F. A. Walker.
(e)
Any business venture in involving unusual risks, with a chance for large profits.
2.
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
.
Sir W. Temple.
To his
speculations
on these subjects he gave the lofty name of the “Oracles of Reason.”
Macaulay.
3.
Power of sight.
[Obs.]
Thou hast no
speculation
in those eyes.
Shakespeare
4.
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.

Definition 2021


speculation

speculation

See also: spéculation

English

Noun

speculation (plural speculations)

  1. The process of thinking or meditating on a subject.
    • Milton
      Thenceforth to speculations high or deep I turned my thoughts.
    • 2012, Caroline Davies, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are expecting first baby (in The Guardian, 3 December 2012)
      The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have ended months of intense speculation by announcing they are expecting their first child, but were forced to share their news earlier than hoped because of the Duchess's admission to hospital on Monday.
  2. (philosophy) The act or process of reasoning a priori from premises given or assumed.
  3. A conclusion to which the mind comes by speculating; mere theory; notion; conjecture.
    • Sir W. Temple
      From him Socrates derived the principles of morality, and most part of his natural speculations.
    • Macaulay
      To his speculations on these subjects he gave the lofty name of the "Oracles of Reason".
  4. (business, finance) An investment involving higher-than-normal risk in order to obtain a higher-than-normal return.
  5. 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.
    • A. Smith
      Sudden fortunes, indeed, are sometimes made in such places, by what is called the trade of speculation.
    • F. A. Walker
      Speculation, while confined within moderate limits, is the agent for equalizing supply and demand, and rendering the fluctuations of price less sudden and abrupt than they would otherwise be.
  6. Examination by the eye; view.
  7. (obsolete) Power of sight.
    • Shakespeare
      Thou hast no speculation in those eyes.
  8. A card game 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.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:supposition

Derived terms

  • "on speculation" (on spec) Creating a work with the hope of selling it, as opposed to creating a work "on commission" for hire.

Translations

Anagrams