• (RP) IPA: /ˈɛəzæts/, IPA: /ˈɜːsæts/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈɛəɹsɑts/, IPA: /ˈɛəɹzɑts/, IPA: /ɛəɹˈsɑːts/, IPA: /ɛəɹˈzɑːts/, IPA: /ˈɝsæts/
  • (America) IPA: [ɛəɹˈsɑːts]


  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, gingerbread

ersatz (plural ersatzes)

  1. something made in imitation; an effigy or substitute
    Synonyms: imitation, knock off

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