Try Our Apps


Fall Head Over Heels...


[hwoh, woh] /ʰwoʊ, woʊ/
stop! (used especially to horses).
Origin of whoa
1615-25; dialectal variant of ho2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for whoa
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • whoa, an Indian so big that he dwarfed the wiry little pony he rode, came to meet Geronimo.

    The Story of Geronimo James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • But just as we had got under it, Addison said, "whoa," and old Sol stopped short.

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
  • Rupert ran down the road shouting "whoa" to the horse which galloped past him.

    Added Upon Nephi Anderson
  • They roped me out a skew-ball black With a double set-fast on his back,— whoa!

    Cowboy Songs Various
  • At its height a carriage dashed up the driveway, and a woman's voice cried: "whoa!"

    Six Girls and Bob Marion Ames Taggart
British Dictionary definitions for whoa


a command used esp to horses to stop or slow down
Word Origin
C19: variant of ho1
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
Cite This Source
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 As an expression of delight or surprise (1980s) it has gradually superseded wow, which was very popular 1960s.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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for whoa



A pickpocket; whiz (1925+ Underworld)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for whoa

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for whoa

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for whoa