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Borrowed from German Ersatz ("replacement"); and from the German ersetzen ("to replace", verb).
ersatz (comparative more ersatz, superlative most ersatz)
- 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, gingerbread (obsolete)
ersatz (plural ersatzes)
- something made in imitation; an effigy or substitute
- (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought):
- Synonyms: imitation, knock off
something made in imitation
Borrowed from German Ersatz.
ersatz m (plural ersatz)