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Word of the Day
Monday, February 11, 2008

Definitions for ersatz

  1. serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain.
  2. an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute.

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Citations for ersatz
"Home" consisted of a room on a subsurface level of a huge apartment building. Once, the Jiffi-view Company of Greater Cleveland came by every six months and created a 3-D projection, animated, of a view of Carmel, California. this "view" filled his room's "window," or ersatz window. Philip K. Dick, Galactic Pot-Healer, 1969
All Mother wants is to take as little notice of the war as possible. She doesn't like imitation gravy, so she does without, she doesn't want ersatz tea, so she drinks peppermint tea instead … Anne Frank (1929–45), translated by Susan Massotty, "The Janitor's Family," Anne Frank's Tales from the Secret Annex, 2003
Origin of ersatz
Ersatz is borrowed from German, where it derives from the verb ersetzen, "to replace." It entered English in the mid-1800s.