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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.
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.
Modern Machine-Shop Practice, Volumes I and II Joshua Rose

anneal whenever the metal seems springy and keep working until the stem is tapered about 3⁄4 in.
The Library of Work and Play: Working in Metals Charles Conrad Sleffel

Flange one end of this tube a little, and anneal the flange well in the smoky flame.
Laboratory Manual of Glass-Blowing Francis C. Frary

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.
Laboratory Manual of Glass-Blowing Francis C. Frary

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.
Practical Mechanics for Boys J. S. Zerbe

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

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.


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