petit mal

pe·​tit mal | \ ˈpe-tē-ˌmal , -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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about petit mal

Statistics for petit mal

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for petit mal

The first known use of petit mal was in 1874

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for petit mal

petit mal

pe·​tit mal | \ ˈpet-ē-ˌmal , -ˌmäl \

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

Comments on petit mal

What made you want to look up petit mal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!