petit mal

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Related to petit mal: grand mal

petit mal

(ˈpɛtɪ ˈmæl; French pəti mal)
(Pathology) a mild form of epilepsy characterized by periods of impairment or loss of consciousness for up to 30 seconds. Compare grand mal
[C19: French: little illness]


(ˈɛp əˌlɛp si)

a disorder of the nervous system, characterized either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petit mal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness (grand mal).
[1570–80; < Late Latin epilēpsia < Greek epilēpsía epileptic seizure, derivative of epilambánein to get hold of, attack]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.petit mal - epilepsy characterized by paroxysmal attacks of brief clouding of consciousness (and possibly other abnormalities); "she has been suffering from petit mal since childhood"
epilepsy - a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by loss of consciousness and convulsions
absence seizure, absence - the occurrence of an abrupt, transient loss or impairment of consciousness (which is not subsequently remembered), sometimes with light twitching, fluttering eyelids, etc.; common in petit mal epilepsy
2.petit mal - a seizure of short duration characterized by momentary unconsciousness and local muscle spasms or twitching; "the girl was frightened by her first petit mal"
epileptic seizure - convulsions accompanied by impaired consciousness

petit mal

n (Med) → Petit Mal nt

pe·tit mal

n. Fr. petit mal, ataque epiléptico benigno con pérdida del conocimiento pero sin convulsiones.
References in periodicals archive ?
Some dogs have petit mal seizures or psychomotor seizures with only part of the body involved.
Which widespread medical disorder includes grand mal and petit mal forms?
In minor epilepsy, or petit mal, the person may simply be 'absent' for a few moments but not lose consciousness or jerk.
Liwsi's condition, also known as Petit Mal, means she suffers eight to 15 seizures a day, which usually involve a brief and abrupt loss of memory and motor control, meaning the usual main symptom is staring blankly into space.
Tonic clonic seizures (also known as Grand Mal) cause convulsions and at the other end of the spectrum Petit Mal seizures or absences lead to someone becoming blank and unresponsive.
Elizabeth's IQ dropped 90 points: profound retardation as a result of countless petit mal and grand mal seizures.
or " Then, in 1989, her colleagues noticed Catriona was experiencing petit mal episodes, sometimes known as staring spells.
I have had Petit Mal and Grand Mal epilepsy since I was 11.
The findings suggest that embelin possess anticonvulsant activity against both grand mal and petit mal epilepsy.
Absence seizures (formerly called petit mal seizures) are a common type of generalized seizure that typically starts in childhood and typically stops when the child reaches puberty.