[hwoh, woh]
stop! (used especially to horses).

1615–25; dialectal variant of ho2

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World English Dictionary
whoa (wəʊ)
a command used esp to horses to stop or slow down
[C19: variant of ho1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1623, 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 As an expression of delight or surprise (1980s) it has gradually superseded wow, which was very popular 1960s.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
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Example sentences
Whoa, it's cool that the author is actually speaking in the comments.
Whoa we're talking about a patient centered medical home.
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