One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A nematode worm of the genus Rhabditis (order Rhabditida), found in soil, water, and decaying organic matter, and in the larval stage possibly a facultative parasite of mammals. Also (in form Rhabditis): the genus itself.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Medical Times. From scientific Latin Rhabditis, genus name from ancient Greek ῥάβδος rod + scientific Latin -itis.
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