Etymology
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Words related to *spek-

spectacular (adj.)

1680s, from Latin spectaculum "a sight, show" (see spectacle) + -ar. As a noun, attested by 1890. Related: Spectacularly.

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spectrum (n.)

1610s, "apparition, specter," from Latin spectrum (plural spectra) "an appearance, image, apparition, specter," from specere "to look at, view" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). Meaning "visible band showing the successive colors, formed from a beam of light passed through a prism" first recorded 1670s. Figurative sense of "entire range (of something)" is from 1936.

speculate (v.)

1590s, "view mentally, contemplate" (transitive), back-formation from speculation. Also formerly "view as from a watchtower" (1610s). Intransitive sense of "pursue truth by conjecture or thinking" is from 1670s. Meaning "to invest money upon risk for the sake of profit" is from 1785. Related: Speculated; speculating.

speculation (n.)

late 14c., "intelligent contemplation, consideration; act of looking," from Old French speculacion "close observation, rapt attention," and directly from Late Latin speculationem (nominative speculatio) "contemplation, observation," noun of action from speculatus, past participle of Latin speculari "observe," from specere "to look at, view" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe").

The meaning "pursuit of the truth by means of thinking" is from mid-15c. The disparaging sense of "mere conjecture" is recorded from 1570s. The meaning "buying and selling in search of profit from rise and fall of market value" is recorded from 1774; its short form spec is attested from 1794.

Protestant clergy were at least as bigoted as Catholic ecclesiastics, nevertheless there soon came to be much more liberty of speculation in Protestant than in Catholic countries, because in Protestant countries the clergy had less power. The important aspect of Protestantism was schism, not heresy, for schism led to national Churches were not strong enough to control the lay government. This was wholly a gain, for the Churches, everywhere, opposed as long as they could practically every invention that made for an increase of happiness or knowledge here on earth.  [Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy," 1945]
speculum (n.)

1590s, in surgery and medicine, "instrument for rendering a part accessible to observation," from Latin speculum "reflector, looking-glass, mirror" (also "a copy, an imitation"), from specere "to look at, view" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). As a type of telescope attachment from 1704.

spice (n.)

c. 1200, "something added to food or drink to enhance the flavor, vegetable substance aromatic or pungent to the taste," also "a spice used as a medication or an alchemical ingredient," from Old French espice (Modern French épice), from Late Latin species (plural) "spices, goods, wares," in classical Latin "kind, sort" (see species). From c. 1300 as "an aromatic spice," also "spices as commodities;" from early 14c. as "a spice-bearing plant." Figurative sense of "attractive or enjoyable variation" is from 13c.; that of "slight touch or trace of something" is recorded from 1530s. Meaning "specimen, sample" is from 1790. Early druggists recognized four "types" of spices: saffron, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg.

spy (v.)

mid-13c., "to watch stealthily," from Old French espiier "observe, watch closely, spy on, find out," probably from Frankish *spehon or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *spehon- (source also of Old High German *spehon "to look out for, scout, spy," German spähen "to spy," Middle Dutch spien), the Germanic survivals of the productive PIE root *spek- "to observe." Old English had spyrian "make a track, go, pursue; ask about, investigate," also a noun spyrigend "investigator, inquirer." Italian spiare, Spanish espiar also are Germanic loan-words. Meaning "to catch sight of" is from c. 1300. Children's game I spy so called by 1946.

suspect (adj.)

early 14c., "suspected of wrongdoing, under or open to suspicion;" mid-14c., "regarded with mistrust, liable to arouse suspicion," from Old French suspect (14c.), from Latin suspectus "suspected, regarded with suspicion or mistrust," past participle of suspicere "look up at, look upward," figuratively "look up to, admire, respect;" also "look at secretly, look askance at," hence, figuratively, "mistrust, regard with suspicion." This is from assimilated form of sub "up to" (see sub-) + specere "to look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). The notion behind the word is "look at secretly," hence, "look at distrustfully." Related: Suspectly.

suspicion (n.)

c. 1300, suspecioun, "act of suspecting; unverified conjecture of wrongdoing; mistrust, distrust," from Anglo-French suspecioun, corresponding to Old French suspicion, sospeçon "mistrust, suspicion" (Modern French soupçon), from Late Latin suspectionem (nominative suspectio) "mistrust, suspicion, fear, awe," noun of state from past-participle stem of Latin suspicere "look up at" (see suspect (adj.)).

Spelling in English influenced 14c. by learned Old French forms closer to Latin suspicionem. By c. 1400 as "imagination of something as possible or likely." As a verb meaning "to suspect," it figures in literary representations of U.S. Western (Kentucky) slang from 1830s. Middle English and early Modern English also had suspection.

"Suspicion" words in other Indo-European languages also tend to be words for "think" or "look" with prefixes meaning "under, behind;" such as Greek hypopsia (from hypo "under" + opsis "sight"), hyponoia (noein "to think"); Lettish aizduomas (aiz "behind" + duomat "think"); Russian podozrenie (Slavic podu "under," Old Church Slavonic zireti "see, look"); Dutch achterdocht (achter "behind" + denken "to think").

suspicious (adj.)

mid-14c., suspecious, "deserving of or exciting suspicion, open to doubt," from Anglo-French suspecious, Old French sospecious (Modern French suspectieux), from Latin suspiciosus, suspitiosus "exciting suspicion, causing mistrust," also "full of suspicion, ready to suspect," from stem of suspicere "look up at" (see suspect (adj.)).

The meaning "full of suspicion, inclined to suspect or believe ill" in English is attested from late 14c. Poe (c. 1845) proposed suspectful to take one of the two conflicting senses. Other available words include suspicable "liable to suspect; that may be suspected" (1610s); suspicional "of or pertaining to suspicion" (1890). Related: suspiciously; suspiciousness.

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