Diethyl ether, or simply ether, is an organic compound in the ether class with the formula (C2H5)2O, sometimes abbreviated as Et2O. It is a colorless, highly volatile flammable liquid. It is commonly used as a solvent in laboratories and as a starting fluid for some engines. It was formerly used as a general anesthetic, until non-flammable drugs were developed, such as halothane. It has been used as a recreational drug to cause intoxication.