doppelgänger

noun

dop·​pel·​gäng·​er ˈdä-pəl-ˌgaŋ-ər How to pronounce doppelgänger (audio)
-ˌgeŋ-,
ˌdä-pəl-ˈgaŋ-,
-ˈgeŋ-
variants or doppelganger
1
a
: 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

Did you know?

According to 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. German writers 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 Showtime’s 2017 Twin Peaks revival, MacLachlan reprised his role as FBI Agent Dale Cooper, as well as his dark doppelganger and Dougie, who was a tulpa created by the doppelganger to avoid returning to the Black Lodge. Glenn Garner, Deadline, 13 July 2024 All is not quiet on the marital front, as the wife asks for a divorce and the couple descends into a destructive cycle that not only includes infidelity and neglect, but spins into murder, a tentacled alien creature and doppelgangers. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 July 2024 Despite its slipper-like design, the shoe’s ribbed, tortoiseshell outsole sets it apart from inside-only doppelgangers. Erin Bunch, SELF, 26 June 2024 All is not quiet on the marital front as the wife asks for a divorce and the couple next descends into a destructive cycle that not only includes infidelity and neglect but spins into murder, a tentacled alien creature and doppelgangers. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 June 2024 Over the course of three seasons so far, the heroes of The Umbrella Academy have fought psychic dance battles, traveled through time to the ‘60s and back, and even faced down their own doppelganger family. Christian Holub, EW.com, 16 May 2024 That doesn’t mean their hidden doppelgangers can’t affect them in unexpected ways, though. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 14 Feb. 2024 Lovato's attitude toward her grotesque doppelganger seemed to shift beginning in 2017, as the singer tweeted a gif of the meme without a caption. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 21 Aug. 2023 McLain’s staff shared the dessert doppelganger on social media Tuesday. Emily Curiel, Kansas City Star, 19 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'doppelgänger.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

German Doppelgänger, from doppel- double + -gänger goer

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of doppelgänger was in 1851

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near doppelgänger

Cite this Entry

“Doppelgänger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doppelg%C3%A4nger. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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