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Anti-aircraft shells being loaded into a furnace to be annealed, February 1942, collection of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, National Archives and Record Administration


From Middle English anelen, onelen, from Old English anǣlan, onǣlan(to burn, ignite, set fire to, consume, heat, enlighten, incite, inflame, inspire, kindle), from Proto-Germanic *ana(on) + Proto-Germanic *ailijaną(to burn), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eydʰ-(to burn). The word is related to Old English onāl(that which is burnt, burning; incense), Old English āl(fire, burning), Icelandic eldur(fire), Swedish eld(fire, flame), Danish ild(fire).


  • IPA(key): /əˈniːl/
  • Rhymes: -iːl
  • Hyphenation: an‧neal


anneal ‎(third-person singular simple present anneals, present participle annealing, simple past and past participle annealed)

  1. (metallurgy) To subject to great heat and then cooling (slowly or by quenching), and sometimes reheating and further cooling, for the purpose of rendering less brittle; to temper; to toughen.
    • 2010, Kate McKinnon, Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry: Techniques and Explorations, Loveland, Colo.: Interweave Press, ISBN 978-1-59668-174-3, page 27:
      A properly made, fully sintered and fully annealed metal clay piece should be able to stand up to any traditional metalsmithing techniquehärten.
  2. (figuratively) To strengthen or harden.
    The experience annealed them, strengthening their resolve.

Alternative forms[edit]


  1. harden
  2. indurate
  3. ruggedise, ruggedize


External links[edit]