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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.