ersatz

[er-zahts, -sahts, er-zahts, -sahts]
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:
1870–75; < German Ersatz a substitute (derivative of ersetzen to replace)

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World English Dictionary
ersatz (ˈɛəzæts, ˈɜː-)
 
adj
1.  made in imitation of some natural or genuine product; artificial
 
n
2.  an ersatz substance or article
 
[C20: German, from ersetzen to substitute]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  ersatz1
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  substitute, artificial and often inferior; using substitute components
Etymology:  German 'replacement'
Main Entry:  ersatz1
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  an artificial substitute; imitation
Etymology:  German 'replacement'
Main Entry:  ersatz2
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  simulated, counterfeit
Etymology:  German 'replacement'
Main Entry:  ersatz2
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  something similar in a superficial way
Etymology:  German 'replacement'
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

ersatz
1875, from Ger. Ersatz "units of the army reserve," lit. "compensation, replacement, substitute," from ersetzen "to replace."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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.
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