petit mal

pe·​tit mal | \ ˈpe-tē-ˌmal How to pronounce petit mal (audio) , -ˌmäl \

Definition of petit mal

: epilepsy characterized by mild seizures marked by diminished awareness usually with a blank stare but not by loss of consciousness also : one of these seizures — compare grand mal

First Known Use of petit mal

1874, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petit mal

French, literally, small illness

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The first known use of petit mal was in 1874

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Cite this Entry

“Petit mal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for petit mal

petit mal

pe·​tit mal | \ ˈpet-ē-ˌmal How to pronounce petit mal (audio) , -ˌmäl How to pronounce petit mal (audio) \

Medical Definition of petit mal

1 or petit mal epilepsy : epilepsy characterized by absence seizures : absence epilepsy also : childhood absence epilepsy
2 or petit mal seizure : absence seizure

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