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Also called dreads, it is a style created by allowing the hair to matt into locks.

Although popular myth gives Rastafarians credit for inventing the style, it is almost as old as humanity itself. Dreadlocks or similarly matted styles have been worn from Africa all the way to India, Australia, and even Papua New Guinea.

Indians call them "jata", and they are generally worn by adherents of Shiva.

Some Austro Aboriginies call them "goonut" or "goonat". It was a popular style around the area now known as Botany Bay in pre colonial times.

The term "dreadlocks" being used for this style, however, did originate with the Rastafarian movement. To them it symbolizes many things including the rejection of conventional western mainstream beauty standards, and the dread some may feel when confronted with the true natural self.

There is some debate as to whether matted locks that are "well manicured" should be called dreadlocks, since they are not natty and often require consistent maintenance and a higher degree of perceived vanity.
I need to tighten up my dreadlocks once a month.
You shouldn't pop your dreadlockss when they're dry.
by Niki Lasher November 21, 2003
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This is a hairstyle popularized by the Rastafarians (Bob Marley for example) but dating back as long as the existence humanity. The idea is to let your hair grow naturally, then braid them into matted "locks", and wear them in a natty and dapper style. The term "dread" is often misunderstood in this sense as meaning terror/fear as it is commonly used today, but it is also archaic term which means "to hold in awe or reverence". The Rastas, as well as other cultures, wear their dreads with pride of their natural roots (symbolized by their hair growing eternally from the mind and soul). The true veneration of growing dreadlocks is the inspiration of a sublime spirituality and respect for one's true self.
Keep your culture, don't be afraid
Of the vulture, grow your dreadlocks
Don't be afraid of the wolfpack

Rastaman live up, Bingyman don't give up

-Bob Marley, "Rastaman Live Up"
by I.R.I.E. January 05, 2006
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3
a hairstyle that consists of sections of hair knotted together. some people intentionally "dread" their hair by backcombing or other methods while others allow their locks to form naturally. contrary to popular belief, you can and should wash them, and in fact most people do.

also referred to as simply "dread"
beavertail: when someone has a large massive dread, possibly all their hair in one dreadlock.

dreadhead: someone with dreads

"dude check out that guys fat dreads"

"did you see his heady dreads?"
by LilPhishBigC June 01, 2013
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4
When Jonathan Davis from the nu-metal band KoRn (backwards R mandatory) became to bloated to wash his hair, he began letting it twist and rot naturally. As it began germinating, dreadlocks ensued. It was this natural evolution that made his locks the filthiest in all the land. After being turned down on a date by fellow frontman of Disturbed, David Dreiman, Jonathan Davis soon realized he had to do SOMETHING with that luscious head of hair. This is why he has these luscious tubes forming from his scalp. Don't be fooled kids, it's not a wig. This is the real deal.
David Dreiman: EW, LOOK @ UR HA@!RRRR!

Jonathan Davis: LOL WOT, ILL GET DREADLOCKS!! (OPTIONAL Z)

David Dreiman: K babycakes.
by c0keONwh33lzsszsszzx August 10, 2009
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When a guy jizzes all over his partner and it also gets into the hair but it's never cleaned up. After a while it dries up and becomes dreadlocks.
Lucy: "Hey Angelica, I see you have gotten deadlocks, I thought you hated dreadlocks?"
Angelica: "Ughh, my boyfriend jizzed in my hair last night and didn't tell me, so it dried up and now it's deadlocks."
Lucy: "He's such an asshole!"
by Jung Gouda May 15, 2019
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6
The mental traffic jam that arises out of worry. A dreaded future event -- report deadline, court appearance, meeting with boss -- is played over and over again in the brain, locking out other, more productive thoughts and often resulting in insomnia and excessive alcohol consumption.
I've been in dreadlock over today's presentation. Are you sure we're ready?
by wordguy2 March 21, 2010
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