Definition of petite mort in English:

petite mort

Pronunciation /pəˌtiːt ˈmɔː/


  • The brief loss or weakening of consciousness. Now: specifically the sensation of orgasm as likened to death; an orgasm. Compare little death .


Late 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), novelist and poet. From French petite mort fainting fit, nervous spasm, orgasm from petite, feminine of petit + mort death.