petit mal

[ pet-ee -mahl, mal; French puh-tee -mal ]
/ ˈpɛt i ˈmɑl, ˈmæl; French pə ti ˈmal /
Save This Word!

noun Pathology.

See under epilepsy.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of petit mal

1870–75; <French: literally, small illness
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for petit mal

British Dictionary definitions for petit mal

petit mal
/ (ˈpɛtɪ ˈmæl, French pəti mal) /


a mild form of epilepsy characterized by periods of impairment or loss of consciousness for up to 30 secondsCompare grand mal

Word Origin for petit mal

C19: French: little illness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for petit mal

petit mal
[ pĕtē 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
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.