Any of a class of organic compounds corresponding to the inorganic salts and formed from an organic acid and an alcohol.
Origin: German, short for Essigäther : Essig, vinegar (from Middle High German ezzich, from Old High German ezzīh, from Latin acētum; see ak- in Indo-European roots) + Äther, ether (from Latin aethēr; see ether).
An organic compound formed when an acid and an alcohol combine and release water. Esters formed from carboxylic acids are the most common, and have the general formula RCOORˈ, where R and Rˈ are organic radicals. Esters formed from simple hydrocarbon groups are colorless, volatile liquids with pleasant aromas and create the fragrances and flavors of many flowers and fruits. They are also used as food flavorings. Larger esters, formed from long-chain carboxylic acids, commonly occur as animal and vegetable fats, oils, and waxes. Esters have a wide range of uses in industry.