In chemistry, esters are organic compounds in which an organic group (symbolized by R' in this article) replaces a hydrogen atom (or more than one) in an oxygen acid. An oxygen acid is an acid whose molecule has an -OH group from which the hydrogen (H) can dissociate as an H+ ion.
The most common esters are the carboxylate esters, where the acid in question is a carboxylic acid. For example, if the acid is acetic acid, the ester is called an acetate. Esters may also be formed with inorganic acids; for example, dimethyl sulfate is an ester, and sometimes called "sulfuric acid, dimethyl ester".