Definition of petit mal noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

petit mal

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˌpeti ˈmæl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌpeti ˈmæl//
 
[uncountable]
 
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a form of epilepsy that is not very serious, in which somebody becomes unconscious only for very short periods Word Origin late 19th cent.: from French, literally ‘little sickness’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: petit mal