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 The doppelganger for a guitar player in ELO plopped into a CrossFit class brings energy, along with results. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Loss of Clevinger would deal Padres ‘big blow’ in playoff push," 23 Sep. 2020 No, that would be her SNL doppelganger, who returned to her old stomping grounds (two years after leaving the show) at the request of the Internet, basically. Washington Post, "Jim Carrey will play Joe Biden on SNL, and the show hopes it has its next Tina Fey/Sarah Palin moment," 17 Sep. 2020 The picture went viral and stories appeared on entertainment sites declaring that Peter Dinklage's doppelganger had been discovered in Jammu and Kashmir. Majid Maqbool, CNN, "Tariq Mir, Jammu and Kashmir's Tyrion Lannister lookalike, dreams of Bollywood stardom," 12 June 2020 As the bitchy, bleach-blonde ingénue Claire Woods, Samara Weaving continues her streak of being an edgier, icier, more catlike doppelganger for her fellow countrywoman Margot Robbie. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "Hollywood Keeps Trying to Rewrite Its History," 1 May 2020 Jordan, who goes by the TikTok username @chopstickbbydaddy, told Refinery29 over email after finding her doppelganger on TikTok, user @cringefactorx100, using Geuy’s audio back in January. Kathryn Lindsay,, "The Trials & Tribulations Of Having A TikTok Twin," 31 Mar. 2020 Efforts allegedly made by Dillinger to alter his appearance — including plastic surgery and burning off his fingerprints with acid — have led some historians and Dillinger enthusiasts to believe the body belonged to a doppelganger. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "John Dillinger's family drops latest attempt to exhume his body," 9 Jan. 2020 Or Charlotte, who is shot by Dolores while Dolores is in the guise of Hale's own mechanical doppelganger? 6. Jeva Lange, TheWeek, "15 questions for Westworld Season 3," 13 Mar. 2020 Putin, who has ruled Russia either as president or prime minister for more than two decades, said in an interview on Thursday that theories about his use of one or multiple doppelgangers were untrue. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'Are you real?': Putin responds to question about body double," 27 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for doppelgänger

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The first known use of doppelgänger was in 1851

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Cite this Entry

“Doppelgänger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for doppelgänger


How to pronounce doppelgänger (audio)

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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