The town now called Markkleeberg has its origins in several towns that have been merged over the years. The center of modern-day Markkleeberg used to be called Oetzsch. It was merged with the smaller outlying district Markkleeberg in 1911 and renamed Oetzsch-Markkleeberg. Oetzsch-Markkleeberg was in turn merged with Gautzsch and the whole town was called "Markkleeberg", although Markkleeberg was the smallest, because it sounded most Germanic at a time of Nazi-led Germanisation.
The etymology of Markkleeberg may be 'clover hill market town '.
The name of Oetzsch has most likely a Wendish origin. In 1316 it was mentioned in a document as "Euschiz". The village originally had the form of a Rundling.
In 1813 much of the Battle of Leipzig took place where today's Markkleeberg is situated.