petit mal

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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.