dop·​pel·​gäng·​er | \ˈdä-pəl-ˌgaŋ-ər, -ˌgeŋ-, ˌdä-pəl-ˈ\
variants: or doppelganger

Definition of doppelgänger 

1a : double sense 2a said she had seen his doppelgänger

b : alter ego sense 1b

c : a person who has the same name as another

2 : a ghostly counterpart (see counterpart sense 3a) of a living person

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Did You Know?

According to age-old German folklore, all living creatures have a spirit double who is invisible but identical to the living individual. These second selves are perceived as being distinct from ghosts (which appear only after death), and sometimes they are described as the spiritual opposite or negative of their human counterparts. In 1796, German writer Johann Paul Richter, who wrote under the pseudonym Jean Paul, coined the word Doppelgänger (from doppel-, meaning "double," and -gänger, meaning "goer") to refer to such specters.

Examples of doppelgänger in a Sentence

In the story, the character is haunted by a doppelgänger. at the mall today I saw someone who could be your doppelgänger

Recent Examples on the Web

Fox News in particular has seized on holes in Ford’s account to raise doubts about her allegations, even floating the theory that Ford may be confusing Kavanaugh for a doppelganger. Carlos Maza, Vox, "Why Kavanaugh’s accusers can’t remember everything," 28 Sep. 2018 And seriously, what’s up with the Kim Kardashian doppelganger? Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "All the Ways I Feel About the New Yeezy Ads as a Feminist," 13 June 2018 Because the doppelganger accounts speak out in Facebook's most public venues, the profiles can gain followings, friends and enemies all their own. Drew Harwell,, "Facebook crackdown on fake accounts isn't solving the problem for everyone," 4 May 2018 His double on this Earth is a meek bureaucratic drone, pressed into service by Howard Prime to assist him in rooting out an assassin from his world, who is targeting key members of OI for replacement with doppelgangers. Ron Gilmer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Counterpart' Season Finale: 3 Theories That Could Change the Game of the Starz Drama," 23 Mar. 2018 Xtina showed up at the end of the drag show appropriately dressed in leopard print from sunglasses to train -- and sang next to her drag doppelganger Farrah Moan. Muri Assunção, Billboard, "10 Christina Aguilera Songs for Your Pride Month Playlist: Listen," 25 June 2018 Assessed solely in all-electric mode, the car indeed is a doppelganger for the forthcoming XXX, down to its 911-inspired silhouette. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Porsche's latest Panamera offers a tantalizing peek at the coming Taycan electric sedan," 8 June 2018 Now the tourist trap’s official website is promoting a new tour that allows guests to get up and close and personal with the royals’ wax doppelgangers. Melissa Locker, Time, "People Reacted Accordingly to This Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Stunt," 12 June 2018 Officers contacted the individual who was, in fact, not the suspected trespasser, just an unfortunate doppelganger. Samantha Swindler,, "Driver swerved to avoid hitting Pikachu: Forest Grove police log," 9 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doppelgänger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of doppelgänger

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for doppelgänger

German Doppelgänger, from doppel- double + -gänger goer

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Statistics for doppelgänger

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for doppelgänger

The first known use of doppelgänger was in 1851

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English Language Learners Definition of doppelgänger

: someone who looks like someone else

: a ghost that looks like a living person

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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