See also: Ersatz

English edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

ersatz (comparative more ersatz, superlative most ersatz)

  1. Made in imitation; artificial, especially of a poor quality.
    Synonyms: artificial, faux, imitation, knock off, (obsolete) gingerbread
    Back then, we could only get ersatz coffee.
    • 1923, Arthur Michael Samuel, “Pinchbeck”, in The Mancroft Essays, page 164:
      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 September 16, “Zeppelining”, in Time:
      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 October 15, The New Yorker:
      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 February 17, David Remnick, “Exit the Castle: Václav Havel”, in The New Yorker:
      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 May 31, The New Yorker:
      The crowd wandered out to a huge party on the ersatz city blocks of the Paramount lot.
    • 2016 December 12, Amanda Kolson Hurley, “Time-Travel Therapy”, in The Atlantic[1]:
      If all goes according to plan, the ersatz city hall will soon be relocated to a former lumber warehouse in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, at which point construction on the rest of Town Square will start.

Noun edit

ersatz (plural ersatzes)

  1. Something made in imitation; an effigy or substitute.
    Synonyms: imitation, knock off
    • 1951, United States. Congress, Chemicals in Food Products, U.S. Government Printing Office, →OCLC, 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.
    • 1955 June 30, “Ersatzes for Ersatzes”, in The Christian Science Monitor[2], volume 47, number 182:
      What intrigues us is what will happen when the ersatzes for the ersatzes come along. Will characters start substituting for actors, bona fide dogs for barking ladies; will people start looking at people again instead of television and at nature instead of at documentaries?
    • 2003 July 7, A. S Byatt, “Harry Potter and the Childish Adult”, in The New York Times[3], →ISSN:
      They don't have the skills to tell ersatz magic from the real thing, for as children they daily invested the ersatz with what imagination they had.
    • 2016 [c. 1927], Joanne Turnbull, The Return of Munchausen, New York: New York Review of Books, translation of Возвращение Мюнхгаузена by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, →ISBN, page 5:
      “You do Berlin a disservice, baron. We too have mastered a few things: ersatzes, for instance, and the metaphysics of fictionalism—”

Translations edit

See also edit

Anagrams edit

French edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from German Ersatz.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

ersatz m (plural ersatz)

  1. ersatz

Further reading edit