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

noun, Pathology.
See under .
[ep-uh-lep-see] /ˈɛp əˌlɛp si/
noun, Pathology.
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)
a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by periodic loss of consciousness with or without convulsions. In some cases it is due to brain damage but in others the cause is unknown See also grand 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 seconds Compare grand 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.

epilepsy ep·i·lep·sy (ěp’ə-lěp’sē)
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.

petit mal pet·it mal (pět’ē mäl’, māl’)
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. Also called absence, petit mal epilepsy.
Any of various neurological disorders characterized by recurrent seizures. Epilepsy is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
epilepsy [(ep-uh-lep-see)]

A disorder of the brain characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of abnormal brain function, often resulting in convulsions or seizures. The seizures associated with epilepsy can sometimes be controlled by medication.


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