Definition of Ether

Ether is a class of organic molecules that are characterized by an oxygen atom that is being bonded to two alkyl or aryl groups. The structures of ethers and alcohols are almost similar in a way that only one hydrogen is replaced with an alkyl group in the case of alcohols whereas, in ether, the alkyl or aryl groups replace both the hydrogens present at either side.


The general characteristics of ether include: they are colourless liquids having pleasant smell; they are less dense as compared to alcohols; they are less soluble in water; they are mostly non-reactive and they have low boiling points. They are generally used as solvents and the vapours of ethers are used as insecticides, fumigants, etc.

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