From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Anneal \An*neal"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Annealed; p. pr. & vb.
   n. Annealing.] [OE. anelen to heat, burn, AS. an?lan; an on
   + ?lan to burn; also OE. anelen to enamel, prob. influenced
   by OF. neeler, nieler, to put a black enamel on gold or
   silver, F. nieller, fr. LL. nigellare to blacken, fr. L.
   nigellus blackish, dim. of niger black. Cf. Niello,
   1. To subject to great heat, and then cool slowly, as glass,
      cast iron, steel, or other metal, for the purpose of
      rendering it less brittle; to temper; to toughen.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. To heat, as glass, tiles, or earthenware, in order to fix
      the colors laid on them.
      [1913 Webster]
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