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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, Negro.] 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]