petit mal

noun

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

Examples of petit mal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The spike-wave pattern of petit mal, referenced earlier, is a classic example, but scores of others are now known. Giridhar Kalamangalam, Discover Magazine, 4 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'petit 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, small illness

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of petit mal was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near petit mal

Cite this Entry

“Petit mal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petit%20mal. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

petit mal

noun
pe·​tit mal ˈpet-ē-ˌmal How to pronounce petit mal (audio) -ˌmäl How to pronounce petit mal (audio)
1
or petit mal epilepsy : epilepsy characterized by absence seizures : absence epilepsy
2
or petit mal seizure : absence seizure
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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