- serving as a substitute; synthetic; artificial: an ersatz coffee made from grain.
- an artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute.
- made in imitation of some natural or genuine product; artificial
- an ersatz substance or article
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- + setzen “to set” (see set (v.)). As a noun, from 1892.