grand mal

noun

ˈgrän(d)-ˌmäl How to pronounce grand mal (audio)
ˈgräⁿ-ˌmäl,
-ˌmal;
ˈgran(d)-ˌmal How to pronounce grand mal (audio)
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

Recent Examples on the Web Shields then went into a restaurant and suffered a grand mal seizure (ie: the really bad-looking kind). Vulture, 1 Nov. 2023 Some children have grand mal seizures; others walk in a way that is reminiscent of Parkinson’s Disease. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 20 June 2023 What causes a grand mal seizure? Patti Greco, Health.com, 9 Nov. 2021 Iska, his daughter with Ana Maria, had lived with brain damage before dying of a grand mal seizure in 1985 at age 14. Nate Chinen, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2023 Lydia Gatton’s first in vitro fertilization appointment was just a week away when the fifth-grade teacher fell to the floor in the cafeteria of Hopewell Elementary in Bettendorf, Iowa, suffering a grand mal seizure. Hannah Baggenstoss, STAT, 6 Oct. 2022 Then, on the night of December 13, after a Christmas party for employees of the tunnel-construction company Bob co-owns with his three brothers, Cheryl, suffered a grand mal seizure. Stephanie Mansfield, Good Housekeeping, 11 Aug. 2022 First, her son, Louie, had a grand mal seizure from a high fever. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, 2 Dec. 2021 Going a bit deeper, tonic-clonic seizures (formerly known as a grand mal seizures), are how seizures are typically depicted in media. Patti Greco, Health.com, 18 Nov. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'grand mal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French, literally, great illness

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of grand mal was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near grand mal

Cite this Entry

“Grand mal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grand%20mal. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

grand mal

noun
ˈgrän(d)-ˌmäl How to pronounce grand mal (audio) ˈgräⁿ-ˌmäl How to pronounce grand mal (audio)
-ˌmal; ˈgran(d)-ˌmal
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
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