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See more synonyms for dreadlocks on Thesaurus.com
noun (used with a plural verb)
  1. a hair style, especially among Rastafarians, in which the hair is worn in long, ropelike locks.
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Origin of dreadlocks

First recorded in 1955–60; dread + lock2 + -s3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dreadlocks

hairdo, haircut, braid, headdress, dreadlocks, ponytail, trim, flip, wave, hair, permanent, tail, plait, tease, beehive, DA, Afro, do, cut

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Contemporary Examples of dreadlocks

British Dictionary definitions for dreadlocks


pl n
  1. hair worn in the Rastafarian style of long matted or tightly curled strands
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper