whoa

[hwoh, woh]

Origin of whoa

First recorded in 1615–25; dialectal variant of ho2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whoa

Contemporary Examples of whoa

Historical Examples of whoa

  • When we got where the critter's legs touched bottom, Becky remarks: "Whoa!"

    Cape Cod Stories

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Colonel Briggs, as his men called him, suddenly shouted “Whoa!”

  • Whoa, Pardner,” sang out Rhodes, back of them as he slid out of the saddle.

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • "Whoa, boy," he soothed, patting the animal gently on the neck.

  • But just as we had got under it, Addison said, "Whoa," and old Sol stopped short.

    When Life Was Young

    C. A. Stephens


British Dictionary definitions for whoa

whoa

interjection
  1. a command used esp to horses to stop or slow down

Word Origin for whoa

C19: variant of ho 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for whoa

1620s, a cry to call attention from a distance, a variant of who. As a command to stop a horse, it is attested from 1843, a variant of ho. As an expression of delight or surprise (1980s) it has gradually superseded wow, which was very popular 1960s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper