petit mal

[ pet-ee mahl, mal; French puh-tee mal ]
/ ˈpɛt i ˈmɑl, ˈmæl; French pə ti ˈmal /
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noun Pathology.
See under epilepsy.


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Origin of petit mal

1870–75; <French: literally, small illness
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use petit mal in a sentence

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.