I don't think that "we" usually define empires as a country with overseas territories. As you know, there once was a huge Roman Empire that ended in 476 when the last Emperor, Romulus Augustulus was deposed by Germanic forces.
In 962 the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was founded. It lasted till 1806, when the Empire was dissolved by the French Emperor NapolÚon I. The Empire's last Emperor Franz II had already in 1804 declared himself Emperor Franz I of Austria. The Austo-Hungarian Empire lasted till 1918.
In the 19th century there were several attempts to unite the many German states, but Austria and Prussia were rivals. In 1871, the northern German states were united in one country with the King of Prussia as its Emperor. That Empire also ended in 1918.
Under Adolf Hitler, Germany was called Deutsches Reich and for the last years Gro▀deutsches Reich. But many Nazis called it Das dritte Reich, counting the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation as the first and the Empire founded by Prussian as the second Reich.
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