Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Ersatz



Borrowed from German Ersatz (replacement); and from the German ersetzen (to replace, verb).



ersatz (comparative more ersatz, superlative most ersatz)

  1. made in imitation; artificial, especially of a poor quality
    Back then, we could only get ersatz coffee.
    • 1923, Arthur Michael Samuel, The Mancroft Essays, Pinchbeck, page 164 (possibly published before in The Saturday Review in 1917–1921):
      In these days of “rolled” gold, electro-plate, and undetectable pearls, it is curious that almost the only honest Ersatz material known to the goldsmith's art should be utterly forgotten.
    • 1929, "Zeppelining," Time, 16 Sep.,
      Ersatzgas, Ersatzpfennige. Ersatz has become a brave word in Germany. As a substantive it means War Reparations. As part of compounded words it means substitute.
    • 2001, The New Yorker, 15 Oct,
      The avant-garde's opposite number, in Greenberg's scheme, is kitsch, "ersatz culture"—art for capitalism's new man (who turns out to be no different from Fascism's or Communism's new man).
    • 2003, The New Yorker, 17 & 24 Feb,
      The NATO visitors watched an ersatz eighteenth-century dance (complete with powdered wigs and simulated copulation) that might have been considered obscene had it not been so amusing.
    • 2004, The New Yorker, 31 May,
      The crowd wandered out to a huge party on the ersatz city blocks of the Paramount lot.
    Synonyms: artificial, faux, imitation, knock off, (obsolete) gingerbread


ersatz (plural ersatzes)

  1. something made in imitation; an effigy or substitute
    (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought:)
    • 1951, United States. Congress, Chemicals in Food Products, U.S. Government Printing Office, OCLC 14678381, page 400:
      The important point I want to emphasize here is that, regardless of a Government agency's conception of what a consumer expects of a food item, by and large the consumer detests the use of chemicals in foods as substitutes for nutritious, wholesome natural ingredients which improve flavor and quality. The consumer has little to gain in purchasing a product containing questionable ersatzes if his life is to be endangered or he will suffer ill effects.
    Synonyms: imitation, knock off


See also[edit]




Borrowed from German Ersatz.



ersatz m (plural ersatz)

  1. ersatz

Further reading[edit]