Etymology
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ersatz (adj.)

1875, from German Ersatz "units of the army reserve," literally "compensation, replacement, substitute," from ersetzen "to replace," from Old High German irsezzen, from ir-, unaccented variant of ur- (see ur-) + setzen "to set," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." As a noun, from 1892.

updated on April 17, 2017

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Definitions of ersatz from WordNet
1
ersatz (n.)
an artificial or inferior substitute or imitation;
2
ersatz (adj.)
artificial and inferior;
ersatz coffee
Synonyms: substitute
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.