Spec"u*late (?), v. i. [imp. &
p. p. Speculated (?); p. pr. & vb.
n. Speculating.] [L. speculatus, p. p. of
speculari to spy out, observe, fr. specula a lookout,
fr. specere to look. See Spy.] 1.
To consider by turning a subject in the mind, and viewing it in
its different aspects and relations; to meditate; to contemplate; to
theorize; as, to speculate on questions in religion; to
speculate on political events.
It is remarkable that persons who speculate the
most boldly often conform with the most pefect quietude to the
external regulations of society. Hawthorne.
2. (Philos.) To view subjects from
certain premises given or assumed, and infer conclusions respecting
them a priori.
3. (Com.) To purchase with the
expectation of a contingent advance in value, and a consequent sale at
a profit; -- often, in a somewhat depreciative sense, of unsound or
hazardous transactions; as, to speculate in coffee, in sugar,
or in bank stock.
Spec"u*late, v. t. To consider
attentively; as, to speculate the nature of a thing. [R.]
Sir W. Hamilton.