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ersatz

[er-zahts, -sahts, er-zahts, -sahts] /ˈɛr zɑts, -sɑts, ɛrˈzɑts, -ˈsɑts/
adjective
1.
serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial:
an ersatz coffee made from grain.
noun
2.
an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute.
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75; < German Ersatz a substitute (derivative of ersetzen to replace)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ersatz
  • The ersatz reefs, meanwhile, were good for marine ecosystems and local economies alike.
  • Our unions are often the final barrier against unsafe roads and hospitals, ersatz education and filth in our food.
  • Pity the lunatic fringe, poring over the lexicon to find an ersatz euphemism for suicide.
  • The ersatz oysters, sad in their dipping sauce, spoke all too clearly about my life.
  • One day the ersatz seascape will likely become the real thing.
  • As if their compelling native characteristics had been replaced by ersatz versions.
  • The retailers' dilemma has spurred a proliferation of software and other tools that can help ferret out ersatz orders.
  • Some people may feel tempted to store and run simulations of themselves, thus achieving an ersatz immortality.
  • While imposing ersatz fun on their employees, companies are battling against the real thing.
  • Allowing such ersatz lending is a pretence by booksellers.
British Dictionary definitions for ersatz

ersatz

/ˈɛəzæts; ˈɜː-/
adjective
1.
made in imitation of some natural or genuine product; artificial
noun
2.
an ersatz substance or article
Word Origin
C20: German, from ersetzen to substitute
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ersatz
adj.

1875, from German Ersatz "units of the army reserve," literally "compensation, replacement, substitute," from ersetzen "to replace," from Old High German irsezzen, from ir-, unaccented variant of ur- + setzen "to set" (see set (v.)). As a noun, from 1892.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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