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[dred-loks] /ˈdrɛdˌlɒks/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
a hair style, especially among Rastafarians, in which the hair is worn in long, ropelike locks.
Origin of dreadlocks
1955-60; dread + lock2 + -s3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dreadlocks
  • He stopped washing, grew long dreadlocks, and ceased to talk coherently.
  • His hair falls in dreadlocks, and there is a lamp on his head.
  • Today, dreadlocks are being worn every which way but loose.
  • dreadlocks required years of not combing one's hair, letting it mat naturally.
  • He is noted for his unconventional dreadlocks and athletic build.
  • He may have dreadlocks or may have been wearing a wig.
  • He wore a dark-colored cap with what appeared to be fake dreadlocks.
  • He has recently been seen with short dreadlocks and a goatee.
  • The police also found in the alley a wig of fake dreadlocks.
  • He had a full, curly beard, dreadlocks and blue eyes.
British Dictionary definitions for dreadlocks


plural noun
hair worn in the Rastafarian style of long matted or tightly curled strands
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
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Word Origin and History for dreadlocks

1960, from dread + locks (see lock (n.2)). The style supposedly based on that of East African warriors. So called from the dread they presumably aroused in beholders, but Rastafarian dread (1974) also has a sense of "fear of the Lord," expressed in part as alienation from contemporary society.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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