- See under epilepsy.
Origin of grand mal
- a disorder of the nervous system, characterized either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petit mal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness (grand mal).
Origin of epilepsy
- a form of epilepsy characterized by loss of consciousness for up to five minutes and violent convulsionsCompare petit mal
Word Origin and History for grand mal
"convulsive epilepsy" (with loss of consciousness), 1842, from French grand mal, literally "great sickness" (see grand (adj.)). Opposed to petit mal "absence seizure."
1570s, from Middle French epilepsie (16c.), from Late Latin epilepsia, from Greek epilepsia "seizure," from epi "upon" (see epi-) + lepsis "seizure," from leps-, future stem of lambanein "take hold of, grasp" (see analemma).
Earlier was epilencie (late 14c.), from Middle French epilence, with form influenced by pestilence. The native name was falling sickness.
- Any of various neurological disorders characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of motor, sensory, or psychic malfunction with or without loss of consciousness or convulsive seizures.seizure disorder
grand mal(grănd′ mäl′, măl′)
- A severe epilepsy characterized by seizures involving tonic-clonic spasms and by the loss of consciousness.generalized tonic-clonic epilepsy generalized tonic-clonic seizure disorder grand mal epilepsy major epilepsy
- Any of various neurological disorders characterized by recurrent seizures. Epilepsy is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.