Definition of petit mal in English:

petit mal

Line breaks: petit mal

noun

[mass noun]
  • 1A mild form of epilepsy characterized by brief spells of unconsciousness without loss of posture. Compare with grand mal.
    More example sentences
    • This led in particular to a more detailed differentiation and classification of epilepsy, including terms still in use today, such as grand mal, petit mal, absence seizures, and status epilepticus.
    • Doctors dispelled the depression as an extensive form of epilepsy, petit mal.
    • The terms seizure and convulsion include grand mal, petit mal, absence, myoclonic, tonic-clonic, and focal motor seizures and signs.
  • 1.1 [count noun] A petit mal epileptic fit: he wasn’t out of his petit mal yet
    More example sentences
    • I myself had pediatric petit mal epilepsy (It cleared as I went through puberty), and when I had my first long lasting seizure it was actually pretty undramatic.
    • We're not too sure whether James had a petit mal seizure, (he suffers from epilepsy), on the bus on the way home from his post school option program.
    • A is epileptic; he had daily petit mal seizures as a child which would case memory loss, so he is an unreliable witness.

Origin

late 19th century: from French, literally 'little sickness'.

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