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.
1887, "to cover with a network," from network (n.). From 1940 as "to broadcast over a (radio) network;" 1972 in reference to computers; by 1982 in reference to persons, "to interact with others to exchange information and develop contacts." Related: Networked; networking.
computer programming language, 1956, from combination of elements from formula + translation.
acronym from Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, set up in 1969 by a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense in partnership with four universities; acknowledged as "the world's first operational packet switching network" and predecessor of the internet.
also macro-instruction, in computing, "a group of programming instructions compressed into a simpler form and appearing as a single instruction," 1959, from macro- + instruction.
1984, "the linked computer networks of the U.S. Defense Department," shortened from internetwork, inter-network, which was used from 1972 in reference to (then-hypothetical) networks involving many separate computers. From inter- "between" + network (n.). Associated Press style guide decapitalized it from 2016.
proprietary name for a computer data-sharing network, 1978.
computer programming language for use in business operations, 1960, U.S. Defense Department acronym, from "Common Business-Oriented Language."