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Dictionaries and scholars have offered a variety of definitions.

The Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary offers a definition of the term: "the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things or to solve problems" and "a machine, piece of equipment, method, etc., that is created by technology." Technology can be most broadly defined as the entities, both material and immaterial, created by the application of mental and physical effort in order to achieve some value.

The use of the term "technology" has changed significantly over the last 200 years.

Before the 20th century, the term was uncommon in English, and it was used either to refer to the description or study of the useful arts The term "technology" rose to prominence in the 20th century in connection with the Second Industrial Revolution.

The development of technology may draw upon many fields of knowledge, including scientific, engineering, mathematical, linguistic, and historical knowledge, to achieve some practical result.In this usage, technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems.It is a far-reaching term that may include simple tools, such as a crowbar or wooden spoon, or more complex machines, such as a space station or particle accelerator.Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as pollution and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's environment.Innovations have always influenced the values of a society and raised new questions of the ethics of technology.

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