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doppelgänger

[dop-uh l-gang-er; German daw-puh l-geng-er] /ˈdɒp əlˌgæŋ ər; German ˈdɔ pəlˌgɛŋ ər/
noun
1.
a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person.
Also, Doppelgänger.
Also called doubleganger.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55; < German: literally, double-walker
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for doppelgangers
  • They are doppelgangers, sharing each other's pain, feeling each other's joy.
  • It can convert other individuals into twisted doppelgangers that eventually gather to form a destructive legion.
British Dictionary definitions for doppelgangers

doppelgänger

/ˈdɒpəlˌɡɛŋə; German ˈdɔpəlˌɡɛŋər/
noun
1.
(legend) a ghostly duplicate of a living person
Word Origin
from German Doppelgänger, literally: double-goer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for doppelgangers

doppelganger

n.

1830, from German Doppelgänger, literally "double-goer," originally with a ghostly sense. See double + gang (n.). Sometimes half-anglicized as doubleganger.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for doppelgangers

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

Learn more about doppelganger with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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20
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