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In organic chemistry and biochemistry, an ether is functional group resulting from the condensation of alcohols.

  ROH    +   HOR'  -->  ROR' + H2O
alcohol     alcohol     ether

Like esters, ethers are limited in their ability to form hydrogen bonds. They tend to be more hydrophobic than other, analogous condensation products (such as esters or amides). They are also much more resistant to hydrolysis than their ester or amide analogues.

In addition to the generic meaning, the term "ether" also commonly refers to the specific compound diethyl ether, CH3CH2OCH2CH3, also known as ethoxyethane. Diethyl ether was one of the first anesthetics used in surgery.

Despite their comparably attenuated reactivity, ethers can act as Lewis acids. For instance, diethyl ether forms a complex with boron compounds, such as boron trifluoride etherate, F3B:O(CH2CH3)2

Ether, in physics and philosophy. See Aether.

According to the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ether was an ancient prophet who lived among the Jaredites on the American continent. Ether was the principle author of the Book of Ether, which is part of the Book of Mormon.