grand mal

noun
\ˈgrän(d)-ˌmäl, ˈgräⁿ-ˌmäl, -ˌmal;ˈgran(d)-ˌmal \

Definition of grand mal 

1 or grand mal epilepsy : severe epilepsy characterized by seizures in which there is an abrupt loss of consciousness with initially prolonged tonic muscle contractions followed by clonic muscle spasms

2 or grand mal seizure : a seizure marked by abrupt loss of consciousness with initially prolonged tonic muscle contractions followed by clonic muscle spasms

Examples of grand mal in a Sentence

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In 2014 the couple married, but Cobain's alleged drug use only intensified over the years, leading up to a grand mal seizure later that year that nearly killed Cobain at the couple's home while Silva was there with his young daughter, Arlo. Colin Stutz, Billboard, "Courtney Love Sued by Frances Bean Cobain's Ex-Husband for Alleged Kidnapping & Murder Plot," 31 May 2018 After mixing both, Brian said Sadie’s grand mal seizures with violent muscle contractions were reduced from 20 minutes to 10 minutes. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Higueras have reason to celebrate Sadie's 5th birthday," 18 May 2018 Each layer of this unusual family's history arrives via flickers of memory, and not all the layers are primly opaque: Rachel begins experiencing epilepsy's grand mal seizures. Bethanne Patrick, latimes.com, "Michael Ondaatje's novel 'Warlight' is a masterpiece of shifting memory," 3 May 2018 Kayleigh McCagg, winner of the Rensselaer district competition in New York, vividly remembers the day 11 years ago when her twin brother suffered a grand mal seizure. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Teens from 36 states in Baltimore to compete in USA Brain Bee Championship," 17 Mar. 2018 And there are heartrending stories, like Samina Ali’s beautifully wrought Labor of Love, which recounts her arduous journey to learn to walk and write again after suffering a grand mal seizure and brain damage while giving birth to her son. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, "Women of color 'Sing' proudly in new essay collection," 5 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grand mal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of grand mal

1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grand mal

French, literally, great illness

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The first known use of grand mal was in 1898

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More Definitions for grand mal

grand mal

noun
\ˈgrän(d)-ˌmäl, ˈgräⁿ-ˌmäl, -ˌmal; ˈgran(d)-ˌmal\

Medical Definition of grand mal 

1 or grand mal epilepsy : severe epilepsy characterized by tonic-clonic seizures : tonic-clonic epilepsy

2 or grand mal seizure : a tonic-clonic seizure She estimates having had about 25 grand mals and 100 smaller-scale seizures since.— Cicero A. Estrella, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Dec. 2001

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