1. the Holy Roman Empire, regarded as the first German empire (First Reich)
2. Germany or the German government; specif.,
a. the German Empire from 1871 to 1919 (Second Reich)
b. the German republic from 1919 to 1933 (Weimar Republic)
c. the German fascist state under the Nazis from 1933 to 1945 (Third Reich)
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, compiled by the
editors of Webster’s New World Dictionaries. Copyright © 2010 by Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Word origin of 'Reich'
Ger < OHG rihhi,
akin to OE rice,
< IE base *reĝ-,
to put in order, straight > right