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[uh-neel] /əˈnil/
verb (used with object)
to heat (glass, earthenware, metals, etc.) to remove or prevent internal stress.
to free from internal stress by heating and gradually cooling.
to toughen or temper.
Biochemistry. to recombine (nucleic acid strands) at low temperature after separating by heat.
to fuse colors onto (a vitreous or metallic surface) by heating.
an act, instance, or product of annealing.
Origin of anneal
before 1000; Middle English anelen, Old English anǣlan to kindle, equivalent to an- on + ǣlan to burn, akin to āl fire
Related forms
annealer, noun
unannealed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for anneal
Historical Examples
  • Throw an asbestos rag over the joint, loosen one pair of the clamps slightly, and leave the joint to anneal.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • Taps once out in length seem to get worse at every heating, whether to anneal or to harden.

  • anneal whenever the metal seems springy and keep working until the stem is tapered about 3⁄4 in.

  • Flange one end of this tube a little, and anneal the flange well in the smoky flame.

  • These strips are put into iron boxes and kept at a red heat for a number of hours to anneal or soften them.

    Makers of Many Things Eva March Tappan
  • anneal with great care, and cool in such a position that the acid cannot reach the hot glass.

  • And without these chastening factors to temper, soften and anneal, the sex-relation is a fierce and tyrannous concern.

    Feminism and Sex-Extinction Arabella Kenealy
  • Particular pains must be taken thoroughly to anneal the alloy when worked into bars.

    Inventors at Work George Iles
  • Heat the file in the forge fire to draw the temper and anneal it by covering it with ashes.

    Farm Mechanics Herbert A. Shearer
  • Malleable or wrought iron, if subjected to pressure, becomes brittle, and it is necessary to anneal it.

British Dictionary definitions for anneal


to temper or toughen (something) by heat treatment
to subject to or undergo some physical treatment, esp heating, that removes internal stress, crystal defects, and dislocations
(transitive) to toughen or strengthen (the will, determination, etc)
(often foll by out) (physics) to disappear or cause to disappear by a rearrangement of atoms: defects anneal out at different temperatures
an act of annealing
Derived Forms
annealer, noun
Word Origin
Old English onǣlan, from on + ǣlan to burn, from āl fire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for anneal

Old English onælan "to set on fire, kindle," from on- "on" + ælan "to burn, bake," from Proto-Germanic *ailan, "probably" [Watkins] from PIE *ai- "to burn" (see ash (n.1)); related to Old English æled "fire, firebrand," Old Norse eldr, Danish ild "fire." Related: Annealed; annealing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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