Definition of ersatz in English:

ersatz

adjective

  • 1(of a product) made or used as a substitute, typically an inferior one, for something else.

    ‘ersatz coffee’
    • ‘It is a sort of ersatz substitute for the hope of heaven.’
    • ‘By contrast, there is very little in contemporary metropolitan architecture that rises above the kitsch and the ersatz in its efforts to provide a simulacrum of displaced nature.’
    • ‘So, instead of entering the dark, airless fug that was Swansea's top coffee shop, I grabbed a take-out burger and ersatz coffee from a burger joint and sat outside to listen to the songs.’
    • ‘The main building has a false front, an ersatz log cabin applied to a World War II-era Quonset hut.’
    • ‘I don't know if they have reserved occupations over there but I can see them in my head, sitting by the slipways drinking their ersatz coffee.’
    • ‘As the delegates on the floor allowed themselves to be whipped up into fake passion, like that ersatz cream they used to sell during the war, I popped into the overspill where delegates were watching on the giant screen.’
    • ‘Think of the Phoenix-area canals as ersatz rivers, as man-made, tidier, vastly simplified rivers.’
    • ‘See they never had any coffee in Europe, it was what they call ersatz coffee, and this was made out of kind of charred acorns and they'd grind it up and that was their so-called coffee.’
    • ‘Anne cannot sleep because of the air raids, and they are eating terribly-dry bread and ersatz coffee for breakfast, spinach and rotten potatoes for dinner.’
    • ‘An egregious example of this tendency is the architect whose assembly-line production of faux rococo and ersatz neo-classical facades has transmogrified Mumbai's cityscape.’
    • ‘There is nothing ersatz in this polished Edwardian pile, save fake coal fires in secondary rooms.’
    • ‘Some of us have props: racing programs, and glasses of ersatz beer.’
    • ‘If redwood is not an option where you live, use similarly rot-resistant eastern or western red cedar, inexpensive hemlock, or consider the ersatz wood planks made of recycled plastic.’
    • ‘In the end, ersatz haggis was produced by our polite hosts.’
    • ‘The object the drive excessively fixates upon, meanwhile, is in no sense an ersatz or secondary substitute for an impossible, unattainable object; for the drive, there is no ‘thing-in-itself’.’
    artificial, substitute, imitation, synthetic, fake, false, faux, mock, simulated
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Not real or genuine.
      ‘ersatz emotion’
      • ‘Burns was lamenting within his own lifetime a host of ersatz imitators of his achievement.’
      • ‘Gaming - sporting or otherwise - introduces a whole new set of experience and it doesn't make any difference whether they're ersatz experiences or real ones.’
      • ‘The ersatz emotions that crawl out of the woodwork with every hit make me instinctively reach for the bug spray.’
      • ‘His voice shaking with ersatz emotion, he recalled how three senior boys surrounded him in such an intimidating manner that he has never forgotten it.’
      • ‘Most books with names like this one are inferior works filled with an ersatz cynicism that pales beside the real article.’
      • ‘Manufactured memories smother sober analysis and provide ersatz significance to what was, in truth, bewildering chaos.’
      • ‘As for the national outpouring of ersatz grief, reminiscent of the scenes that followed the death of Princess Diana, it surely spoke not of feeling but of an egotistical inability to feel, compensated for by outward show.’
      • ‘In short, the market is divided into real surplus, ersatz surplus, and newly manufactured ammunition and components.’
      • ‘Those two songs have proved remarkably prescient in their bogus rebellion and ersatz torment.’
      • ‘An all the remaining ersatz relatives discover that emotions and motives aside, it's poverty and anonymity that truly sucks.’
      • ‘But while those attributes may satisfy your clients' practical side, the product's ersatz appearance may leave some of them feeling a little unsatisfied.’
      • ‘The one upside to the fact that we no longer have any real leaders, only ersatz ones slavishly addicted to following public opinion, is that at the end of the day, public outrage really matters.’
      • ‘Be you the last one standing on the tropical island or in the spotlight on the studio stage, it has been an artificial journey leading to ersatz fame.’
      • ‘This is where Sancho knows his master has lost his marbles since he himself produced this ersatz Dulcinea.’
      • ‘Anyone who's down in West Dorset and likes their country pubs real and not ersatz should give either, or preferably both, a whirl.’
      • ‘Godard was lost in Plato's cave from the outset, so he should not be surprised when this illusory ersatz world of film proves unsatisfactory - as a replacement for life, it is indeed a very unsatisfactory substitute.’
      • ‘McAlmont is capable of real emotion, not Armstrong's ersatz approximation of feeling.’
      • ‘Today's football-related flag-flying is a pale imitation of that traditional nationalism, a sort of ersatz English patriotism that means little or nothing in political terms.’
      • ‘That's the difference between real marriage and the ersatz versions peddled by the ‘modernists’ of today.’
      • ‘They provide an ersatz community for people who lack community.’
      imaginary, imagined, pretended, make-believe, made-up, fantasy, fantasized, fancied, dream, dreamed-up, unreal, fanciful, invented, fictitious, fictive, mythical, feigned, fake, mock, imitative, sham, simulated, artificial, dummy, false, faux, spurious, bogus, counterfeit, fraudulent, forged, pseudo
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century: from German, literally ‘replacement’.

Pronunciation