|chem any of a class of compounds produced by reaction between acids and alcohols with the elimination of water. Esters with low molecular weights, such as ethyl acetate, are usually volatile fragrant liquids; fats are solid esters|
|[C19: from German, probably a contraction of Essigäther acetic ether, from Essig vinegar (ultimately from Latin acētum) + Äther|
ester es·ter (ěs'tər)
Any of a class of organic compounds corresponding to the inorganic salts and formed from an organic acid and an alcohol, usually with the elimination of water.
|ester (ěs'tər) Pronunciation Key
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 RCOOR', where R and R' 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.