central European nation, from Medieval Latin Marchia austriaca "eastern borderland." German Österreich is "eastern kingdom," from Old High German ostar "eastern" (from Proto-Germanic *aust- "east," literally "toward the sunrise," from PIE root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn) + reich "kingdom, realm, state" (from Proto-Germanic *rikja "rule," from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). So called for being on the eastern edge of Charlemagne's empire. Related: Austrian.
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