1550s, "net-like arrangement of threads, wires, etc., anything formed in the manner of or presenting the appearance of a net or netting," from net (n.) + work (n.). Extended sense of "any complex, interlocking system" is from 1839 (originally in reference to transport by rivers, canals, and railways). Meaning "broadcasting system of multiple transmitters" is from 1914; sense of "interconnected group of people" is by 1934 in psychology jargon.
great mountain system along the Pacific coast of South America, from Quechua (Inca) andi "high crest." Related: Andean.
1610s, "special messenger," from express (adj.). Sense of "business or system for sending money or parcels" is by 1794.
word-forming element meaning "art, craft, skill," later "technical, technology," from Latinized form of Greek tekhno-, combining form of tekhnē "art, skill, craft in work; method, system, an art, a system or method of making or doing," from PIE *teks-na- "craft" (of weaving or fabricating), from suffixed form of root *teks- "to weave," also "to fabricate."
"system of communication using gestures," especially for communication with and among the deaf, by 1847; see sign (n.). Earlier hand-language (1670s).
1890, in reference to a punch-card system used in a mechanical tabulator and later for data processing in in the earliest computers, from name of U.S. inventor Herman Hollerith (1860-1929), who designed the system. For a time, in mid-20c. it sometimes was used figuratively in reference to modern society viewed as a processing machine.
"the practice, system, doctrines, etc. of authoritarians," 1883; see authoritarian + -ism. Early use was mostly in communist jargon.