1610s, "a discourse or treatise on an art or the arts," from Greek tekhnologia "systematic treatment of an art, craft, or technique," originally referring to grammar, from 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." For ending, see -logy.
The meaning "study of mechanical and industrial arts" (Century Dictionary, 1895, gives as example "spinning, metal-working, or brewing") is recorded by 1859. High technology attested from 1964; short form high-tech is from 1972.
loosely, "study and application of extremely small things" in many scientific fields, by 1974 (but not widely used before 1990s), from nano- + technology. Often applied to manipulation of individual atoms and molecules, and sometimes given a precise range (up to 100 nanometers), but the sense of nano- here seems best explained as "very small."
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to weave," also "to fabricate," especially with an ax," also "to make wicker or wattle fabric for (mud-covered) house walls."
It forms all or part of: architect; context; dachshund; polytechnic; pretext; subtle; technical; techno-; technology; tectonic; tete; text; textile; tiller (n.1) ""bar to turn the rudder of a boat;" tissue; toil (n.2) "net, snare."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: *teks- "to weave, to fabricate, to make; make wicker or wattle framework" (source also of Sanskrit taksati "he fashions, constructs," taksan "carpenter;" Avestan taša "ax, hatchet," thwaxš- "be busy;" Old Persian taxš- "be active;" Latin texere "to weave, fabricate," tela "web, net, warp of a fabric;" Greek tekton "carpenter," tekhnē "art;" Old Church Slavonic tesla "ax, hatchet;" Lithuanian tašau, tašyti "to carve;" Old Irish tal "cooper's ax;" Old High German dahs, German Dachs "badger," literally "builder;" Hittite taksh- "to join, unite, build."
originally M.I.T., abbreviation of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, attested from 1892. The school was founded 1861.