dop·​pel·​gäng·​er ˈdä-pəl-ˌgaŋ-ər How to pronounce doppelgänger (audio)
variants or doppelganger
: double sense 2a
said she had seen his doppelgänger
: a person who has the same name as another
: 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.

Example Sentences

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 Its faux shearling exterior is crafted from a doppelganger synthetic polyester that boasts the texture and mimics the look of real shearling, but without harming any animals. Saryn Chorney, Travel + Leisure, 9 Mar. 2023 The first feature-length sci-fi film, Metropolis (1927), features a robo-doppelganger that causes widespread mayhem. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, 6 Jan. 2023 Its toy doppelganger turns up the vibrancy a notch with more saturated colors and its signature toy brick texture. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 30 Dec. 2022 In his real-life career as a macro hedge fund investor betting on global economic trends, Thiel was somewhat less clairvoyant than his supposed fictional doppelganger. Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 In Brazil, Trump’s doppelganger, Jair Bolsonaro, lost his bid for reelection. Frida Ghitis, CNN, 6 Jan. 2023 Instead, she's accused of killing her doppelganger. Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, 2 Feb. 2023 Over the last 40 years, Bregman has starred on The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful as both Lauren and her doppelganger Sarah Smythe. Emlyn Travis,, 25 Jan. 2023 The resemblance between the two is uncanny; West has often been called her mom's doppelganger, and even auntie Khloé Kardashian popped up in the comments to confirm it. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 17 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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


Dictionary Entries Near doppelgänger

Cite this Entry

“Doppelgänger.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

A Good Old-Fashioned Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?