doppelgänger

[dop-uhl-gang-er; German daw-puhl-geng-er]
noun
a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person.
Also, Doppelgänger.
Also called doubleganger.


Origin:
1850–55; < German: literally, double-walker

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World English Dictionary
doppelgänger (ˈdɒpəlˌɡɛŋə, German ˈdɔpəlˌɡɛŋər)
 
n
legend a ghostly duplicate of a living person
 
[from German Doppelgänger, literally: double-goer]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  doppelganger1
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a ghostly counterpart of a person; a ghostly double of a living person
Etymology:  German doppel 'double' + ganger 'goer'
Usage:  also doppelgaenger
Main Entry:  doppelganger2
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  alter ego
Etymology:  German doppel 'double' + ganger 'goer'
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

doppelganger
1830, from Ger., lit. "double-goer," originally with a ghostly sense. Sometimes half-Anglicized as doubleganger.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

doppelganger

(German: "double goer"), in German folklore, a wraith or apparition of a living person, as distinguished from a ghost. The concept of the existence of a spirit double, an exact but usually invisible replica of every man, bird, or beast, is an ancient and widespread belief. To meet one's double is a sign that one's death is imminent. The doppelganger became a popular symbol of horror literature, and the theme took on considerable complexity. In The Double (1846), by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, for example, a poor clerk, Golyadkin, driven to madness by poverty and unrequited love, beholds his own wraith, who succeeds in everything at which Golyadkin has failed. Finally the wraith succeeds in disposing of his original. An earlier, well-known story of a doppelganger appears in the novel Die Elixiere des Teufels, 2 vol. (1815-16; "The Devil's Elixir"), by the German writer of fantastic tales E.T.A. Hoffmann

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Debt, and its doppelganger credit, have expanded beyond all previous historical
  situations.
Our genetic doppelganger had been right there watching us, even outwitting us.
That was my doppelganger moving to a new school in the state.
You sound like my doppelganger.
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