I want to translate the word speculation/speculative into my language, but I'm wondering whether it is actually a negative word because of this meaning:

investment in stocks, property, or other ventures in the hope of gain but with the risk of loss.

which sounds like what a gambler is doing.

1 Answer 1


In the context of money-related things, it does contain some inherent risk. It doesn't carry a negative meaning per se, but can be given it in context. For example, it would have a negative connotation here:

The financial crisis was attributed primarily to speculation on property and stocks.

That sentence implies some degree of culpability on the part of spectulators, who might be seen as greedy, foolhardy etc.

But you can also speculate on other things, such as what the weather will be like later in the day, and there's no negative connotation there.

  • If the context is: when eagerly predicting something that hasn't happen, no other adjective is used, still no implication of negativeness?
    – Kindred
    Dec 9, 2018 at 2:38
  • OK, to be honest the context I have is in programming, I want to describe the behavior of the mechanism that the hardware is trying to predict something haven't happen, and eagerly doing so, with some probability being wrong.
    – Kindred
    Dec 9, 2018 at 2:41
  • 2
    For a computer I would use "predicting" rather than "speculating". Speculating is something a thinking being does. I don't think "eager" is a good word for a machine either. It sounds like this program is somewhat biased—but because of the programmer, rather than the machine itself.
    – ralph.m
    Dec 9, 2018 at 4:48
  • Good to know that, but what makes thing more fun/cool is that, the word is indeed used:) ... Eager on the other hand is a word chosen by myself, so you're correct...
    – Kindred
    Dec 9, 2018 at 9:24

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