from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • A natural hairstyle in which the hair is twisted into long matted or ropelike locks.
  • A similar hairstyle consisting of long thin braids radiating from the scalp.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hairstyle worn by Rastafarians and others in which the hair is left to grow into long matted strings.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In response to the derogatory history of the term dreadlocks, alternative names for the style include locks and African Locks.


  • In Jamaica the term dreadlocks was first recorded in the 1950s as a term for the "Young Black Faith", an early sect of the Rastafari which began among the marginalized poor of Jamaica in the 1930s, when they ceased to copy the particular hair style of Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia and began to wear dreadlocks instead. [citation needed] It was said that the wearer lived a "dread" life or a life in which he feared God, which gave birth to the modern name


  • Not even dreadlocks is ever referred to as Bob Marley but braids.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • But Bob Marley got me thinking dreadlocks is really the Bob Marley hairstyle.

    The Legends

  • The convergence of a great number of suck-ass film, one of which is a white guy in dreadlocks and a white male in Afro, coupled with the return of striking writers ….


  • Organic grocers and twentysomethings in dreadlocks and sandals still coexist with Turkish kebab stands and immigrant women in headscarves pushing baby carriages.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • The producer of a radio interview we did was maddened by her insistence that her dreadlocks were a tree -- though according to Rasta cosmology, she was right.

    Vivien Goldman: Remembering Ari Up

  • He wore nothing but stained and tattered rags, and his dreadlocks were a mane of raggedy hair, so he moved in the engine room in a kind of camouflage.

    The Whale Warriors

  • White T-shirt, black male, dreadlocks, that is all we know at this point.

    CNN Transcript Sep 28, 2006

  • The women's saris are grubby, and many of them have allowed their hair to mat into dreadlocks, which is unheard of in a country where neatness is prized.

    NPR Topics: News


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