dop·​pel·​gäng·​er | \ ˈdä-pəl-ˌgaŋ-ər How to pronounce doppelgänger (audio) , -ˌgeŋ-, ˌdä-pəl-ˈgaŋ-, -ˈgeŋ-\
variants: or doppelganger

Definition of doppelgänger

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

In the photo, Maisie is in total zen mode while getting her face touched up by the Kit doppelganger. Meagan Fredette, Teen Vogue, "Kit Harrington Played Makeup Artist To Maisie Williams on GOT Set," 22 May 2019 And a recent photo has shown us that the last few years haven't been all too kind to him - the forward now looking like Gordon Ramsay's doppelganger., "PHOTO: Former Spurs Striker Steffen Iversen Looks Scarily Similar to TV Chef Gordon Ramsay," 4 Apr. 2018 Shahadi dazzles as Zora Wilson in Jordan Peele’s horror film Us, the terrifying story of a family that comes face-to-face with their evil doppelgangers while on vacation. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Shahadi Wright Joseph Opens Up About a Possible "Us" Sequel, Impressing Her Parents, and Perfecting an Evil Doppelganger," 1 Apr. 2019 Jami's mentions are filled with fans in utter panic over the doppelganger situation. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "This Fashion Blogger Looks JUST Like Ariana Grande and People Are Losing It," 21 Feb. 2019 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

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

6 Jun 2019

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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
literary : a ghost that looks like a living person

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