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 best way to settle the doppelganger debate, of course, would be to exhume the body and conduct DNA testing — an answer the family hopes to have answered by the time he's reinterred in September. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "John Dillinger's last meal included red peppers. What we know about the outlaw's autopsy and burial.," 2 Aug. 2019 Celebs took to Rihanna's comments to express their shock at the singer's doppelganger. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, "Rihanna's tiny doppelganger turns heads on Instagram, makes singer 'almost drop' her phone," 24 July 2019 And like Bush, who appreciated how Carvey never crossed the line of bad tasted and even became friends with his doppelganger, Perot also looked on the bright side of his regular Saturday night roastings. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, "Dana Carvey as Ross Perot on SNL: ‘A fully formed, three-dimensional comic character!’," 9 July 2019 Pecou’s doppelgangers mix traditional African objects with contemporary Western garb. Sharon Mizota,, "Review: A painter probes hip-hop stereotypes and what it means to be black and male," 17 June 2019 Still easy to distinguish from her doppelganger, because the latter would no doubt be a much superior president. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Ten: 8-26-19," 26 Aug. 2019 Senator Elizabeth Warren apparently has a doppelganger — and the two met at a rally in Minnesota on Monday night. Jaclyn Reiss,, "Elizabeth Warren met her doppelganger in Minnesota last night," 20 Aug. 2019 And although Jordan himself hasn’t appeared biking on the boardwalk, ice skating at the Carousel Hotel or stopping by Dumser’s for some ice cream, his Photoshopped doppelganger has been all over town. Christine Condon,, "Photoshopped Michael Jordan sightings in Ocean City pepper social media as White Marlin Open continues," 7 Aug. 2019 The filmmakers recreated Brooks’ San Diego office in Memphis, and even bought a 1995 Jeep Cherokee for his on-screen doppelganger to drive. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Actors, attorneys and exonorees walk the red carpert at screening of ‘Brian Banks’ movie in Balboa Park," 4 Aug. 2019

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

10 Oct 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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a topic to which one constantly reverts

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