Definition of speculative in English:



  • 1Engaged in, expressing, or based on conjecture rather than knowledge.

    ‘discussion of the question is largely speculative’
    • ‘Again and again the historian is confronted by absence, gaps and empty spaces which only speculative conjecture can fill.’
    • ‘First Lord Peter gave him a speculative glance.’
    • ‘Concerns about widespread inaccuracies in online health information are speculative and intuitive rather than based on robust research.’
    • ‘He knew his tacit non-response would prompt all sorts of speculative conjecture.’
    • ‘Much of my book is speculative and meant to be suggestive rather than definitive.’
    • ‘Some of their conclusions are empirically based; others are speculative but quite reasonable.’
    • ‘Atwood uses the term speculative fiction rather than science fiction.’
    • ‘Shooting her a speculative glance, he rested his elbow on the desk and rubbed his chin thoughtfully.’
    • ‘Such reasons should be empirically based and not just speculative.’
    • ‘With a smile, Danielle glances at Ian before returning her speculative gaze to Daphne.’
    • ‘A number of entries also contain assertions that are unfounded or highly speculative.’
    • ‘The potential outcome is obviously speculative and up for conjecture, but there is usually evidence to support one side or another.’
    • ‘The defendant says the elements of the loss must be established with reasonable certainty, and must not be speculative or conjectural.’
    • ‘This notion is speculative and demands further research.’
    • ‘This is clearly an example of highly speculative and incomplete theoretical explanations getting way ahead of all the available evidence.’
    • ‘He gave Julien a speculative glance and then grinned.’
    • ‘She slid a speculative glance at her boyfriend.’
    • ‘When I did no more than dumbly blink back he straightened and gave me a rather speculative look before finally breaking into a slow smirk.’
    • ‘The account is based primarily on observations; but it is also speculative, relying to some extent on theoretical considerations.’
    • ‘They are entirely guesswork, speculative and based on unsound mathematics designed to promote the private healthcare system.’
    conjectural, suppositional, theoretical, hypothetical, based on guesswork, putative, academic, notional, abstract
    View synonyms
  • 2(of an investment) involving a high risk of loss.

    • ‘A great deal of the demand and supply of international currencies, however, is not for trade but for investment, often speculative investment.’
    • ‘For one thing, the increase in speculative buying and more exotic loan packages raise the risk of volatility in the mortgage market if yields turn higher quickly.’
    • ‘The speculative investment of $2,000 yielded over $90,000 in endowed scholarships within just a few years.’
    • ‘The shares closed last week at around $10 and analysts have a speculative buy on the stock due to the high risks associated with the company and a price target of $19.’
    • ‘A senior banker who did not wish to be named said there was no need to impose any additional controls on loans for speculative investments as would be needed for other kinds of investment.’
    • ‘However, this has not deterred rampant speculative investment, which has worsened energy shortages further.’
    • ‘He said pure biotech investment tended to be more speculative and returns took longer and were not guaranteed.’
    • ‘The small shareholders will be hoping to turn around the fortunes of a speculative investment that so many have come to bitterly regret.’
    • ‘Some of it has to do with speculative investing in those markets, which I never anticipated several years ago would happen.’
    • ‘And some believe that recent price rises partly reflect an increase in speculative trading in oil, as investors look for quick returns by buying and selling oil futures.’
    • ‘Sixth, what on earth are they doing investing in a buyout fund - one of the most speculative punts you can have on the financial markets?’
    • ‘In most cases, this is highly speculative investing, and anyone looking to trade futures should really do his or her homework.’
    • ‘That could perhaps explain why I allocated as much as 80% of my portfolio to more speculative investments in my earlier investing days.’
    • ‘I feel that any investment in retail is highly speculative, simply because any business where cash changes hands repeatedly is high risk.’
    • ‘Regulators fear that informal lending is fueling speculative investment in real estate and other sectors.’
    • ‘Unit trust investments must not be speculative.’
    • ‘However, it should be said that even at these low valuations they are still quite speculative investments.’
    • ‘Historically, common stocks have been regarded to be too speculative for most small investors.’
    • ‘The ensuing pattern of highly speculative investment led to the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s.’
    • ‘Investment is highly speculative, in that bankable reserves have not yet been identified.’
    risky, hazardous, unsafe, uncertain, unpredictable
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(of a business venture) undertaken on the chance of success, without a preexisting contract.
      • ‘Five of the units were speculative projects which would be readily available for companies seeking new premises in the area.’
      • ‘Interestingly, the current difficulties which the market is experiencing are not deterring developers in Limerick from undertaking speculative schemes.’
      • ‘It was a speculative venture that flopped spectacularly, with the company finally going into liquidation in 1913.’
      • ‘Another speculative building is on the drawing board for Westside Industrial Park.’
      • ‘Anderson said construction could start with two speculative buildings.’
      • ‘This is due to an easing in demand and will lead to a fall in speculative building.’
      • ‘Dowling said the scheme was one of the ‘largest and most ambitious speculative schemes undertaken in the city’.’
      • ‘The building is the second of six speculative office blocks to be let at the park - the South Western Area Health Board has already agreed a lease on an adjoining building.’
      • ‘This enabled them to invest in major infrastructure projects as well as more speculative ventures.’
      • ‘It is a pity that they should wish to finance this by selling land for speculative building development to the detriment of our environment.’
      • ‘‘The days of ITspending on speculative ventures is gone,’ he said.’
      • ‘They are seizing the initiative, investigating speculative projects as a satisfying approach to their profession.’
      • ‘After the London Institution he moved into speculative building, progressing from Highbury villas to Bloomsbury and Belgravia.’
      • ‘We sympathise with people who have difficulty finding tenants but speculative building is still a risky business.’
      • ‘Many loss-making speculative ventures raised money on the public markets.’
      • ‘You too should stick with the well-worn franchise instead of the speculative venture.’
      • ‘If you want to win then you need to look at more speculative ventures.’
      • ‘He said the financial adviser had told both women he was investing their money wisely, but used it to try to solve his own credit card debts and financial problems, or lost it on speculative ventures.’
      • ‘Issues inevitably haunt the category of speculative residential building.’
      • ‘They equate ‘radical’ with high-risk, ill-conceived, and highly speculative projects.’