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n pl 1  in some classifications  :  a large family of rod-shaped usu. gram-negative bacteria of the order Eubacteriales that produce no spores and have a complex metabolism utilizing amino acids and generally carbohydrates  2  in former classifications  :  a family comprising all simple cylindrical bacteria lacking a sheath and including the family Bacteriaceae, the genus Bacillus, and a number of other groups .
Similar sounding terms:  bac·te·rize 

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