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1610s, "skilled in a particular art or subject," formed in English from Greek tekhnikos "of art," from tekhne "art, skill, craft" (see techno-). The sense narrowed to "having to do with the mechanical arts" (1727). Basketball technical foul (one which does not involve contact between opponents) is recorded from 1934. Boxing technical knock-out (one in which the loser is not knocked out) is recorded from 1921; abbreviation TKO is from 1940s.