dread·​lock ˈdred-ˌläk How to pronounce dreadlock (audio)
plural dreadlocks
: a narrow ropelike strand of hair formed by matting, braiding, or twisting : lock
dreadlocks ˈdred-ˌläks How to pronounce dreadlock (audio) plural : a hairstyle consisting of dreadlocks : locks
dreadlocked adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The rapper embellished the photo of him and Stewart with some artistic editing liberties to give them both new accessories, including dreadlocks for himself and a hat and glasses combination for Stewart. Ilana Frost, Peoplemag, 15 May 2023 The bill is part of a national movement to ban racial discrimination against hairstyles and textures, such as dreadlocks, braids and twists. Philip Jankowski, Dallas News, 12 May 2023 Black women with natural styles are seen as less professional and competent than Black women straightened hair, research suggests, and some schools outright ban dreadlocks and braids. Quinn Clark, Journal Sentinel, 1 May 2023 About forty years old and incarcerated at California’s San Quentin State Prison, Rauch is known for his aromatic dreadlocks and his menagerie of pets: gophers, rabbits, a praying mantis, snails, swallows—even, for a time, a tarantula. Jean Dykstra, The New York Review of Books, 27 Apr. 2023 With his dreadlocks coated in traces of blond swinging from the back of his helmet, Yolas is always on the move. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2023 Bowers was inspired to file the proposal after high-profile incidents involving two Black high school students in the U.S. who were forced to cut off their dreadlocks or face consequences. Aarón Torres, Dallas News, 13 Apr. 2023 There’s a homeless guy with impressive dreadlocks who pretty much lives in the alley behind the Gwar bar. Jackson Landers, SPIN, 10 Apr. 2023 The friends posed together backstage in colorful dreadlocks, which caused quite a bit of controversy. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 13 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dreadlock.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1960, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dreadlock was in 1960

Dictionary Entries Near dreadlock

Cite this Entry

“Dreadlock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreadlock. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

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