Word of the Day Archive
Monday July 18, 2005
ersatz \AIR-sahts; UR-sats\
Being a substitute or imitation, usually an inferior one.
Meanwhile, a poor copy was erected in the courtyard; many an unsuspecting traveler paid homage to that ersatz masterpiece.
-- Edith Pearlman, "Girl and Marble Boy", The Atlantic, December 29, 1999
All we can create in that way is an ersatz culture, the synthetic product of those factories we call variously universities, colleges or museums.
-- Sir Herbert Read, The Philosophy of Modern Art
Then there was the sheaf of hostile letters larded with ersatz sympathy, strained sarcasm or pure spite.
-- "Time for GAA to become a persuader", Irish Times, April 13, 1998
Ersatz derives from German Ersatz, "a substitute."