Spec`u*la"tion (?), n. [L. speculatio a spying out, observation: cf. F. sp'eculation.]


The act of speculating.

Specifically: --


Examination by the eye; view

. [Obs.]


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.

<-- buying long is considered speculation only when the time of holding the object is short. Longer-term trading (> 1 year) is considered investment. -->

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.


Any business venture in involving unusual risks, with a chance for large profits



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.


Power of sight.


Thou hast no speculation in those eyes. Shak.


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.


© Webster 1913.