September 01, 2013
- speculate (verb)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : to think or wonder about a subject : meditate2 : to engage in a business deal in which much profit may be made although at a big risk
- How do you use it?
- "It is curious to speculate on the feelings of a dog, who will rest peacefully for hours in a room with his master or any of the family, without the least notice being taken of him; but if left for a short time by himself, barks or howls dismally." (Charles Darwin, _The Descent of Man_.)
- Are you a word wiz?
Let's speculate a bit about relatives of "speculate." Which word do you think comes from the same root word as "speculate"?Speculate no more if you picked A! "Speculate" comes from the Latin word "specere," meaning "to look or look at." "Specere" is the root of many words in English that are somehow related to looking at something. "Inspect," meaning "to examine closely (as for judging quality or condition)" and "to view and examine officially," comes from "specere." "Expect" and "respect" are two more "specere" descendants. "Expect" comes from "exspectare," a "specere" offspring that means "to look forward to." "Respect," on the other hand, comes from "respicere," a "specere" offspring that means "to look back" or "to regard."