1630s, "public notice," from Late Latin programma "proclamation, edict," from Greek programma "a written public notice," from stem of prographein "to write publicly," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy).
The meaning "written or printed list of pieces at a concert, playbill" is recorded by 1805 and retains the original sense. The sense of "broadcasting presentation" is from 1923.
The general sense of "a definite plan or scheme, method of operation or line of procedure prepared or announced beforehand" is recorded from 1837. The computer sense of "series of coded instructions which directs a computer in carrying out a specific task: is from 1945.
The sense of "objects or events suggested by music" is from 1854 (program music is attested by 1877). Spelling programme, established in Britain, is from French in modern use and began to be used early 19c., originally especially in the "playbill" sense.
1889, "write program notes" (a sense now obsolete); 1896 as "arrange according to program," from program (n.).
Of computers, "cause to be automatically regulated in a prescribed way" from 1945; this was extended to animals by 1963 in the figurative sense of "to train to behave in a predetermined way;" of humans by 1966. Related: Programmed; programming.
1640s, "one who calculates, a reckoner, one whose occupation is to make arithmetical calculations," agent noun from compute (v.).
Meaning "calculating machine" (of any type) is from 1897; in modern use, "programmable digital electronic device for performing mathematical or logical operations," 1945 under this name (the thing itself was described by 1937 in a theoretical sense as Turing machine). ENIAC (1946) usually is considered the first.
Computer literacy is recorded from 1970; an attempt to establish computerate (adjective, on model of literate) in this sense in the early 1980s didn't catch on. Computerese "the jargon of programmers" is from 1960, as are computerize and computerization.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A New York Congressman says the use of computers to record personal data on individuals, such as their credit background, "is just frightening to me." [news article, March 17, 1968]
Earlier words for "one who calculates" include computator (c. 1600), from Latin computator; computist (late 14c.) "one skilled in calendrical or chronological reckoning."
early 15c., "the bringing of something to bear on something else," from Old French aplicacion (14c.), from Latin applicationem (nominative applicatio) "a joining to, an attaching oneself to; relation of a client to a patron," noun of action from past-participle stem of applicare "attach to, join, connect," from ad "to" (see ad-) + plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait").
Meaning "sincere hard effort" is from c. 1600. Meaning "a formal request to be hired for a job or paid position" is by 1851. Computer sense "program designed to carry out specific tasks or solve specific problems within a larger system" is a shortening of application program (1969).