er·satz (ĕrzäts′, ĕr-zäts)
1. Being a usually inferior imitation or substitute; artificial: ersatz coffee made of chicory.
2. Not genuine; fake: "Popularity was an intoxicant ... reporters began to ask for interviews and I gave them in an ersatz accent" (Maya Angelou).
[German, replacement, from ersetzen, to replace, from Old High German irsezzan : ir-, out; see ud- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + sezzan, to set; see sed- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.