- See under epilepsy.
Origin of petit 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
Examples from the Web for petit mal
On this chart we have the history of an epileptic man whose attacks were of the petit-mal type.
- a mild form of epilepsy characterized by periods of impairment or loss of consciousness for up to 30 secondsCompare grand mal
Word Origin and History for petit mal
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
petit mal(pĕt′ē mäl′, măl′)
- A form of epilepsy, occurring most often in adolescents and children, characterized by frequent but transient lapses of consciousness and only rare spasms or falling.absence petit mal epilepsy
- Any of various neurological disorders characterized by recurrent seizures. Epilepsy is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.