"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[er-zahts, -sahts, er-zahts, -sahts] /ˈɛr zɑts, -sɑts, ɛrˈzɑts, -ˈsɑts/
serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial:
an ersatz coffee made from grain.
an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute.
Origin of ersatz
1870-75; < German Ersatz a substitute (derivative of ersetzen to replace) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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  • As if their compelling native characteristics had been replaced by ersatz versions.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


/ˈɛəzæts; ˈɜː-/
made in imitation of some natural or genuine product; artificial
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

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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