es·​ter | \ˈe-stər \

Definition of ester 

: any of a class of often fragrant organic compounds that can be represented by the formula RCOOR′ and that are usually formed by the reaction between an acid and an alcohol with elimination of water

Examples of ester in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Wander Beauty's Wanderlust powder foundation will take your face on an international journey via its wide-reaching ingredient list, which includes Korean aloe leaf and honeysuckle, U.S. jojoba esters, and French hibiscus. Wendy Gould, Allure, "The 9 Best Powder Foundations to Thwart Summer Sweat," 3 July 2018 Now, brewers are playing around with European yeasts, full of fruity esters and other flavor compounds, and leaving them suspended in the beer. William Bostwick, WSJ, "The Beers of Summer: Hazy IPAs," 24 May 2018 Some of the chemicals, known as esters and ketones, are typically used in the flavoring and fragrance industries, while others are used in food processing and incorporated in cleaning products. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milorganite mystery: Homegrown fertilizer's new scent has officials sleuthing to identify source of change," 30 Apr. 2018 While 98 percent of polyester does come from polyesterification, the two percent extra is a product from the ester squirrel. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "How the Nauga and its Fictional Friends Helped Make Synthetic Fabric Cuddly," 12 Sep. 2017 The star ingredients include lactic acid for exfoliation and a retinol (trans-retinol ester) for fading sun damage. Jessica Prince Erlich, The Cut, "14 Natural Beauty Gifts for All Your Favorite Hippies," 19 Dec. 2017 Made with lash-lengthening rice bran wax, thickening vitamin B, and olive esters to condition and protect, lashes are left looking and feeling in prime shape. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Sephora’s Weekly Wow Sale: What to Buy," 14 Sep. 2017 Hops are not a feature of this style, but these beers often do showcase esters. Sam Calagione,, "Summer Beer Guide: Step (and drink) out of your comfort zone this season," 18 July 2017 Just the right amount of German Herkules and Czech Saaz hops balance out the fruity esters from the Belgian yeast, and the oats give it a lovely smoothness. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "Lake Monster’s Golden Oat Belgian is a smooth, juicy treat," 22 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ester.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ester

circa 1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ester

German, from Essigäther ethyl acetate, from Essig vinegar + Äther ether

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ester

Dictionary Entries near ester







ester gum

Statistics for ester

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ester

The first known use of ester was circa 1852

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ester


es·​ter | \ˈes-tər \

Medical Definition of ester 

: any of a class of often fragrant compounds that can be represented by the formula RCOOR′ and that are usually formed by the reaction between an acid and an alcohol usually with elimination of water

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ester

What made you want to look up ester? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!