a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |



  1. Examination by the eye; view. [Little used.]
  2. Mental view of any thing in its various aspects and relations; contemplation; intellectual examination. The events of the day afford matter of serious speculation to the friends of Christianity. Thenceforth to speculations high or deep / I turn'd my thoughts. – Milton.
  3. Train of thoughts formed by meditation. From him Socrates derived the principles of morality and most part of his natural speculations. – Temple.
  4. Mental scheme; theory; views of a subject not verified by fact or practice. This globe, which was formerly round only in speculation, has been circumnavigated. The application of steam to navigation is no longer a matter of mere speculation. Speculations which originate in guilt, must end in ruin. – R. Hall.
  5. Power of sight. Thou hast no speculation in those eyes. [Not in use.] – Shak.
  6. In commerce, the act or practice of buying land or goods, &c., in expectation of a rise of price and of selling them at an advance, as distinguished from a regular trade, in which the profit expected is the difference between the retail and the wholesale prices, or the difference of price in the place where the goods are purchased, and the place to which they are to be carried for market. In England, France and America, public stock is the subject of continual speculation. In the United States, a few men have been enriched, but many have been ruined by speculation.


One who speculates or forms theories; a speculator. – Milner.

SPEC'U-LA-TIVE, a. [Fr. speculatif; It. speculativo.]

  1. Given to speculation; contemplative; applied to persons. The mind of man being by nature speculative. – Hooker.
  2. Formed by speculation; theoretical; ideal; not verified by fact, experiment or practice; as, a scheme merely speculative.
  3. Pertaining to view; also, prying. – Bacon.


  1. In contemplation; with meditation.
  2. Ideally; theoretically; in theory only, not in practice. Propositions seem often to be speculatively true, which experience does not verify.


The state of being speculative, or of consisting in speculation only.


  1. One who speculates or forms theories. – More.
  2. An observer; a contemplator. – Brown.
  3. A spy; a watcher. – Broome.
  4. In commerce, one who buys goods, land or other thing, with the expectation of a rise of price, and of deriving profit from such advance.


  1. Exercising speculation. – Johnson.
  2. Intended or adapted for viewing or espying. – Warton.

SPEC'U-LUM, n. [L.; G. and D. spiegel; Sw. spegel; Dan. spejl.]

  1. A mirror or looking glass.
  2. A glass that reflects the images of objects.
  3. A metallic reflector used in catadioptric telescopes.
  4. In surgery, an instrument for dilating and keeping open certain parts of the body. – Coxe.

SPED, v. [pret. and pp. of Speed.]

SPEECH, n. [Sax. spæc. See Speak.]

  1. The faculty of uttering articulate sounds or words, as in human beings; the faculty of expressing thoughts by words or articulate sounds. Speech was given to man by his Creator for the noblest purposes.
  2. Language; words as expressing ideas. The acts of God to human ears / Can not without process of speech be told. – Milton.
  3. A particular language, as distinct from others. – Ps. xix.
  4. That which is spoken; words uttered in connection and expressing thoughts. You smile at my speech.
  5. Talk; mention; common saying. The duke did of me demand, / What was the speech among the Londoners / Concerning the French journey. – Shak.
  6. Formal discourse in public; oration; harangue. The member has made his first speech in the legislature.
  7. Any declaration of thoughts. I, with leave of speech implor'd, replied. – Milton.

SPEECH, v.i.

To make a speech; to harangue. [Little used.]




To make a speech; to harangue. [Not elegant.]




The act of making a speech. – Moore.


  1. Destitute or deprived of the faculty of speech. More generally,
  2. Mute; silent; not speaking for a time. Speechless with wonder, and half dead with fear. – Addison.


The state of being speechless; muteness. – Bacon.


One who makes speeches; one who speaks much in a public assembly.


  1. Swiftness; quickness; celerity; applied to animals. We say, a man or a horse runs or travels with speed; a fowl flies with speed. We speak of the speed of a fish in the water, but we do not speak of the speed of a river, or of wind, or of a falling body. I think however I have seen the word applied to the lapse of time and the motion of lightning, but in poetry only.
  2. Haste; dispatch; as, to perform a journey with speed; execute an order with speed.
  3. Rapid pace; as, a horse of speed. We say also, high speed, full speed.
  4. Success; prosperity in an undertaking; favorable issue; that is, advance to the desired end. O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day. – Gen. xxiv. This use is retained in the proverb “to make more haste than good speed,” and in the Scriptural phrase, “to bid one good speed,” [not God speed, as erroneously written.]

SPEED, v.i. [pret. and pp. sped, speeded. Sax. spedian, spædan; D. spoeden; G. spediren, to send; Gr. σπευδω. The L. expedio may be from the same root, which signifies to drive, to hurry, of the family of L. peto. Class Bd.]

  1. To make haste; to move with celerity. – Shak.
  2. To have success; to prosper; to succeed; that is, to advance in one's enterprise. He that's once deni'd will hardly speed. – Shak. Those that profaned and abused the second temple, sped no better. – South
  3. To have any condition good or ill; to fare. Ships heretofore in seas like fishes sped, / The mightiest still upon the smallest fed. – Waller.

SPEED, v.t.

  1. To dispatch; to send away in haste. He sped him thence home to his habitation. – Fairfax.
  2. To hasten; to hurry; to put in quick motion. But sped his steps along the hoarse resounding shore. – Dryden.
  3. To hasten to a conclusion; to execute; to dispatch; as, to speed judicial acts. – Ayliffe.
  4. To assist; to help forward; to hasten. With rising gales that sped their happy flight. – Dryden.
  5. To prosper; to cause to succeed. May heaven speed this undertaking.
  6. To furnish in haste.
  7. To dispatch; to kill; to ruin; to destroy. With a speeding thrust his heart he found. – Dryden. A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped! / If foes, they write, if friends they read me dead. – Pope. Note. In the phrase, “God speed,” there is probably gross mistake in considering it as equivalent to “may God give you success.” The true phrase is probably “good speed;” good in Saxon, being written god. I bid you or wish you good speed, that is, good success.


Full of speed; hasty.

SPEED'I-LY, adv.

Quickly; with haste; in a short time. Send speedily to Bertram. Dryden.


The quality of being speedy; quickness; celerity; haste; dispatch.


A plant of the genus Veronica.