Open main menu

Wiktionary β

See also: Ersatz




Borrowing 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.



ersatz (plural ersatzes)

  1. Something made in imitation; an effigy or substitute.
    (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought):





Borrowing from German Ersatz.


ersatz m (plural ersatz)

  1. ersatz

Further readingEdit