Definition of speculate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    speculate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈspekjuleɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspekjuleɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they speculate
    BrE BrE//ˈspekjuleɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspekjuleɪt//
     
    he / she / it speculates
    BrE BrE//ˈspekjuleɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspekjuleɪts//
     
    past simple speculated
    BrE BrE//ˈspekjuleɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspekjuleɪtɪd//
     
    past participle speculated
    BrE BrE//ˈspekjuleɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspekjuleɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form speculating
    BrE BrE//ˈspekjuleɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspekjuleɪtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to form an opinion about something without knowing all the details or facts speculate (about/on/as to something) We all speculated about the reasons for her resignation. They were all speculating as to the identity of the stranger. speculate why, how, etc… It is useless to speculate why he did it. speculate that… We can speculate that the stone circles were used in some sort of pagan ceremony. Express YourselfSpeculatingIn some exams, you have to talk about what you can see in a picture and speculate about the situation or a wider issue prompted by the picture. These are ways of saying what you think might be the case: I think it's likely that these people know each other. I imagine she's his wife. They might/​may/​could be related.(British English or formal, North American English) I would think/​imagine/​guess they've been waiting for some time.(British English) I guess that the car has broken down.(North American English) I think this has probably happened before. It looks to me as though the woman is very angry. Perhaps/​Probably/​Possibly/​It may be that/​Maybe there has been an accident.(British English or formal, North American English) Synonymsphotograph picture photo shot snapshot/​snap printThese are all words for a picture that has been made using a camera.photograph a picture that has been made using a camera:a photograph of the house Can I take a photograph?picture a photograph:We had our picture taken in front of the hotel.photo a photograph:a passport photophotograph, picture or photo?Photograph is slightly more formal and photo is slightly less formal. Picture is used especially in the context of photographs in newspapers, magazines and books.shot a photograph:I tried to get a shot of him in the water. Shot often places more emphasis on the process of taking the photograph, rather than the finished picture.snapshot/​snap an informal photograph that is taken quickly, and not by a professional photographer:holiday snapsprint a copy of a photograph that is produced from film or from a digital camera:a set of printsPatterns a colour photograph/​picture/​photo/​snap/​print to take a photograph/​picture/​photo/​shot/​snapshot
  2. 2[intransitive] speculate (in/on something) to buy goods, property, shares, etc., hoping to make a profit when you sell them, but with the risk of losing money He likes to speculate on the stock market.
  3. Word Origin late 16th cent.: from Latin speculat- ‘observed from a vantage point’, from the verb speculari, from specula ‘watchtower’, from specere ‘to look’.Extra examples Commentators are openly speculating on whether the accusation is false. He refused to speculate on her reasons for leaving. It is idle to speculate what the consequences would have been. It would be premature to speculate as to the outcome at this stage. It would seem entirely reasonable to speculate that tribal loyalties influenced the outcome of the election. The British press speculated wildly about his disappearance. There was no point in speculating about the possibility of them getting back together. We can only speculate as to this man’s identity. Everyone speculated wildly about the reasons for her resignation. I’m not going to speculate on her reasons for leaving. It’s interesting to speculate whether they really did believe in witchcraft. It’s useless to speculate why he did it. They could only speculate as to the identity of the stranger. We can speculate that the stone circles were used in some kind of religious ceremony.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: speculate