speculation
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˌspɛkjəˈleɪʃən/
Noun

speculation

  1. The process of thinking or meditating on a subject.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IX”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      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.
    • From him Socrates derived the principles of morality, and most part of his natural speculations.
    • 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 19, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
  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.
    • Sudden fortunes, indeed, are sometimes made in such places, by what is called the trade of speculation.
    • 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.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iv]:
      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.
  9. (programming) The process of anticipating which branch of code will be chosen and executing it in advance.
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