Etymology
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grand mal

"convulsive epilepsy" (with loss of consciousness), 1842 as a French term in English, from French grand mal, literally "great sickness" (see grand (adj.)). Opposed to petit mal.

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Definitions of grand mal

grand mal (n.)
epilepsy in which the attacks involve loss of consciousness and tonic spasms of the musculature followed by generalized jerking;
Synonyms: grand mal epilepsy / generalized epilepsy / epilepsia major
grand mal (n.)
a seizure during which the patient becomes unconscious and has convulsions over the entire body;
Synonyms: generalized seizure / epilepsia major
From wordnet.princeton.edu