Definition of ersatz in English:


Syllabification: er·satz
Pronunciation: /ˈerˌzäts
, ˈerˌsäts


1(Of a product) made or used as a substitute, typically an inferior one, for something else: ersatz coffee
More example sentences
  • 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’.
  • It is a sort of ersatz substitute for the hope of heaven.
  • 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.
manufactured, man-made
informal phony, wannabe
1.1Not real or genuine: ersatz emotion
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • That's the difference between real marriage and the ersatz versions peddled by the ‘modernists’ of today.


late 19th century: from German, literally 'replacement'.

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cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope; dispirit