• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to heat (glass, earthenware, metals, etc.) to remove or prevent internal stress.
  2. to free from internal stress by heating and gradually cooling.
  3. to toughen or temper.
  4. Biochemistry. to recombine (nucleic acid strands) at low temperature after separating by heat.
  5. to fuse colors onto (a vitreous or metallic surface) by heating.
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  1. an act, instance, or product of annealing.
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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 formsan·neal·er, nounun·an·nealed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for annealing

harden, thicken, toughen, temper

Examples from the Web for annealing

Historical Examples of annealing

  • If the sulphur is kept melted for some time at 125° C. the annealing is not so important.

    On Laboratory Arts

    Richard Threlfall

  • The annealing cannot be carried out in air, owing to the tendency to oxidation.

    On Laboratory Arts

    Richard Threlfall

  • A good size gas or oil furnace for annealing and case-hardening.

    The Working of Steel

    Fred H. Colvin

  • We regulate the oven according to what we are annealing in it.

    The Story of Glass

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • The process is somewhat similar to that employed in annealing glass.

British Dictionary definitions for annealing


  1. to temper or toughen (something) by heat treatment
  2. to subject to or undergo some physical treatment, esp heating, that removes internal stress, crystal defects, and dislocations
  3. (tr) to toughen or strengthen (the will, determination, etc)
  4. (often foll by out) physics to disappear or cause to disappear by a rearrangement of atomsdefects anneal out at different temperatures
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  1. an act of annealing
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Derived Formsannealer, noun

Word Origin for anneal

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

Word Origin and History for 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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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper