1
a command (as to a draft animal) to stand still
2
: cease or slow a course of action or a line of thought : pause to consider or reconsider
often used to express a strong reaction (such as alarm or astonishment)

Word History

Etymology

Middle English whoo, who

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whoa was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near whoa

Cite this Entry

“Whoa.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whoa. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

whoa

imperative verb
ˈwō How to pronounce whoa (audio) ˈhō How to pronounce whoa (audio)
ˈhwō
1
used as a command to an animal to stop pulling or moving
2
: step or slow a course of action or a line of thought : pause to consider or reconsider
often used to express a strong reaction (as alarm or astonishment)
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