Part of speech: adjective
Origin: German, 1870s
Describing an artificial substitute for something, usually of inferior quality
Simulated or imitation
Examples of Ersatz in a sentence
"It may have been on sale, but the ersatz cheese was so bad that no one could stomach it."
"The antique dealer was caught trying to sell ersatz vases, forcing him to go out of business."
Popularity Over Time
While "ersatz" typically has a negative connotation, such as cheaper or lower quality substitutes, there's a growing market for meat replacements. Ersatz meat products like the Beyond Meat and Impossible burgers have recently earned praised for being nearly indistinguishable from real beef. You can even find these products in the meat section at your grocery store.
Did you Know?
Borrowed from German, "ersatz" gained popularity in English during World War II when rationing and shortages forced people to adopt ersatz products such as chicory coffee, meat substitutes, and alternative grains.