late 14c., "a smithy," from Old French forge "forge, smithy" (12c.), earlier faverge, from Latin fabrica "workshop, smith's shop," hence also "a trade, an industry;" also "a skillful production, a crafty device," from faber (genitive fabri) "workman in hard materials, smith" (see fabric). As the heating apparatus itself (a furnace fitted with a bellows), from late 15c. Forge-water (1725), in which heated iron has been dipped, was used popularly as a medicine in 18c.
early 14c., "to counterfeit" (a letter, document, etc.), from Old French forgier "to forge, work (metal); shape, fashion; build, construct; falsify" (12c., Modern French forger), from Latin fabricari "to frame, construct, build," from fabrica "workshop" (see forge (n.)). Meaning "to counterfeit" (a letter, document, or other writing) is from early 14c.; literal meaning "to form (something) by heating in a forge and hammering" is from late 14c. in English, also used in Middle English of the minting of coins, so that it once meant "issue good money" but came to mean "issue spurious (paper) money." Related: Forged; forging.
late 14c. (early 14c. as a surname), "a maker, a smith," agent noun from forge (v.). Meaning "a counterfeiter, one who makes by false imitation" is from early 15c. In 15c. also "a maker of (coin) money." Another Middle English word for "a forger" was falsarie (mid-15c.).
late 15c. (Caxton), "a building," a sense now obsolete, from Old French fabrique (14c.), verbal noun from fabriquer (13c.), from Latin fabricare "to make, construct, fashion, build," from fabrica "workshop," also "an art, trade; a skillful production, structure, fabric," from faber "artisan who works in hard materials," from Proto-Italic *fafro-, from PIE *dhabh-, perhaps meaning "craftsman" (source also of Armenian darbin "smith," and possibly also Lithuanian dabà "nature, habit, character," dabnùs "smart, well-dressed, elegant;" Russian dobryj "good," Gothic gadob "it fits," Old English gedēfe "fitting;" also see daft).
The noun fabrica suggests the earlier existence of a feminine noun to which an adj. *fabriko- referred; maybe ars "art, craft." [de Vaan]
From 1630s as "a thing made; a structure of any kind." The sense in English has evolved via "manufactured material" (1753) to "textile, woven or felted cloth" (1791). Compare forge (n.) which is a doublet.
Old English smiðian "to forge, fabricate, design," from the source of smith (n.). Related: Smithed; smithing.
"merely mechanical," coined 1845 from Greek banausikos "pertaining to mechanics," from banausos "artisan, mere mechanical," hence (to the Greeks) "base, ignoble;" sometimes said to be literally "working by fire," from baunos "furnace, forge" (but Beekes dismisses this as folk etymology and calls it a pre-Greek word of uncertain origin).