: to heat and then cool (a material, such as steel or glass) usually for softening and making less brittle
Each bar, with its intricate twists, bevels and turns, had to be shaped individually. This shaping made some parts of the bars brittle … . To restore their flexibility, all the bars had to be annealed by heating, and then rapidly cooling them.—Ivars Peterson
also: to cool slowly usually in a furnace
: to cause two complementary strands of nucleic acid (such as DNA or RNA) to join by hydrogen bonding
During repair of DNA double-strand breaks, cells must accurately anneal broken strands …—Seiji N. Sugiman-Marangos et al.
also: to induce the binding of a genetic primer (see primerentry 2 sense 3) to a complementary single-stranded nucleic acid by slowly cooling single strands obtained from the heating and separation of double-stranded DNA or RNA
The primers are annealed to the single strands when the local temperature is reduced to between 50 and 65 C. —Andrew J. DeMello
During PCR, fragments are heated so they will separate into single strands. A short nucleotide sequence called a primer is then annealed to each original template. —George M. Church
Mildred at least, is capable of love. In Veda, love has been annealed to a hard diamond of ambition.—Stephen King
Did you know?
Anneal Has a Fiery History
If you were looking for a saying to apply to the word anneal, it might be "everything old is new again." The word was originally associated with one of the oldest technologies of humankind: fire. It derives from the Old English word onǣlan, which was formed from the Old English root āl, meaning "fire." In its earliest known uses, anneal meant simply "to set on fire." That sense has become obsolete, however, and nowadays anneal is associated with metalworking and glasswork as well as a much more recent technological development. As addressed in sense 3 of the definition, it has come to be used in the context of DNA research, in reference to the heating and cooling of double-stranded nucleic acid.
Examples of anneal in a Sentence
Recent Examples on the WebFor applications requiring a more pure silica glass, the residual organics can be removed by annealing the structures at 900° Celsius (1,652° F)—an extra step, granted, but at a much lower temperature than the usual extra sintering step.—Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 7 July 2023 As expected, the researchers found that annealing the textiles at a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius improved their ability to generate electric charge.—IEEE Spectrum, 10 Dec. 2023 While annealing the textiles was beneficial to both the aligned and random fiber distributions, the team was surprised by which orientation performed better overall.—IEEE Spectrum, 10 Dec. 2023 The bread, annealed and shiny, was all crunch and butter.—Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2023 By first exploding its internal differences and then annealing them in imaginative fictions at best loosely based in history—exactly as was done in this country for so long—a coherently incoherent tale gets told.—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 Together, hundreds of them can anneal into a solid block.—Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 29 Nov. 2012 For hybrid algorithms, the back and forth between classical and annealing worlds means regular communications with the D-Wave hardware, which helped motivate the company to try to reduce the latency of those communications.—John Timmer, Ars Technica, 1 Oct. 2019 Further Reading D-Wave announces the next generation of its quantum annealer
The other challenge annealing faces is that classical algorithms are constantly improving.—John Timmer, Ars Technica, 1 Oct. 2019 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anneal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English anelen to set on fire, from Old English onǣlan, from on + ǣlan to set on fire, burn, from āl fire; akin to Old English ǣled fire, Old Norse eldr