medical Definition of tonic-clonic
- During a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, also known as a grand mal seizure, the person might have a vocal outburst, stiffen and fall to the ground.
- —Jen Waters, The Washington Times, 4 July 2006
- Most often, though, they [seizures] fall in a well-documented spectrum of mental and somatic anomalies, from the transient episodes of decreased awareness known as absence (formerly called “petit mal”) to the tonic-clonic (or “grand mal”) attack characterized by loss of consciousness, collapse and spasmodic stiffening and jerking.
- —Jerry Adler and Eliza Gray, Newsweek, 20 Apr. 2009