doppelgänger

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

doppelganger

Definition of doppelgänger

  1. 1 :  a ghostly counterpart (see counterpart 3a) of a living person

  2. 2a :  double 2a said she had seen his doppelgängerb :  alter ego bc :  a person who has the same name as another

doppelgänger was our Word of the Day on 08/03/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of doppelgänger in a sentence

  1. In the story, the character is haunted by a doppelgänger.

  2. at the mall today I saw someone who could be your doppelgänger

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.

Origin and Etymology of doppelgänger

German Doppelgänger, from doppel- double + -gänger goer


First Known Use: 1851


DOPPELGÄNGER Defined for English Language Learners

doppelgänger

play
noun dop·pel·gäng·er \ˈdä-pəl-ˌgaŋ-ər, -ˌgeŋ-, ˌdä-pəl-ˈ\

Definition of doppelgänger for English Language Learners

  • : someone who looks like someone else

  • : a ghost that looks like a living person


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WORD OF THE DAY

contemplative of or relative to the past

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