\ ˈwō How to pronounce whoa (audio) , ˈhō How to pronounce whoa (audio) , ˈhwō How to pronounce whoa (audio) \

Definition of whoa

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)

First Known Use of whoa

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for whoa

Middle English whoo, who

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Time Traveler for whoa

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whoa.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whoa. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for whoa


\ ˈwō How to pronounce whoa (audio) , ˈhō, ˈhwō \

Kids Definition of whoa

used as a command to an animal carrying a rider or pulling a load to stop

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whoa

Comments on whoa

What made you want to look up whoa? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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