Hypertext Webster Gateway: "speculation"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Speculation \Spec`u*la"tion\, n. [L. speculatio a spying out,
observation: cf. F. sp['e]culation.]
1. The act of speculating. Specifically:
(a) Examination by the eye; view. [Obs.]
(b) 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.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: a message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence
[syn: {guess}, {conjecture}, {supposition}, {surmise}, {surmisal},
2: a hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or
conjecturing (usually with little hard evidence);
"speculations about the outcome of the election"; "he
dismissed it as mere conjecture" [syn: {conjecture}]
3: an investment that is very risky but could yield great
profits; "he knew the stock was a speculation when he
bought it" [syn: {venture}]

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