Displaced 16c. by connex (1540s), from French connexer, from Latin *connexare, a supposed frequentative of conectere (past participle stem connex-). Connect was re-established from 1670s.
A similar change took place in French, where connexer was superseded by connecter. Meaning "to establish a relationship" (with) is from 1881. Slang meaning "get in touch with" is attested by 1926, from telephone connections. Meaning "awaken meaningful emotions, establish rapport" is from 1942. Of a hit or blow, "to reach the target," from c. 1920. Related: Connected; connecting; connectedness.
It forms all or part of: annex; annexation; connect; connection; denouement; net (n.) "netting, network, mesh used for capturing;" nettle; nexus; node; nodule; noose.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit nahyati "binds, ties;" Latin nodus "knot;" Old Irish nascim "I bind, oblige;" Old English net "netting, network."
late 14c., conneccion, "state or fact of being connected," also connexioun (in this spelling from mid-15c.), from Old French connexion, from Latin connexionem (nominative connexio) "a binding or joining together," from *connexare, frequentative of conectere "to fasten together, to tie, join together," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + nectere "to bind, tie" (from PIE root *ned- "to bind, tie").
Meaning "act of connecting" is from c. 1600; sense of "anything that connects" is from 1741. As "circle of persons with whom one is brought into more or less intimate relations" is from 1767. Meaning "the meeting of one means of travel with another" is from 1862. Sense of "supplier of narcotics" is attested by 1934.