Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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]
ep•i•lep•sy(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]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||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
|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
n (Med) → Petit Mal nt
n. Fr. petit mal, ataque epiléptico benigno con pérdida del conocimiento pero sin convulsiones.