• Whoa

    Pronunciation

    • UK IPA: /wəʊ/ or IPA: /ʍəʊ/
    • US enPR: , IPA: /woʊ/ or enPR: hwō, IPA: /ʍoʊ/
    • Rhymes: -əʊ
    • Homophones: woe (in accents with the wine-whine merger)

    Origin

    Whoa (c. 1843) is a variant of woa (c. 1840), itself a variant of wo (c. 1787), from who (c. 1450), ultimately from Middle English ho, hoo (interjection.), probably from Old Norse hó!. Compare German ho, Old French ho ! ("hold!, halt!").

    Full definition of whoa

    Interjection

    1. stop (especially when commanding a horse or imitative thereof); calm down; slow down.Whoa, Nelly!
    2. An expression of surprise.Whoa, are you serious?

    Usage notes

    Another alternate spelling from woa, woah (c. 1856), is common, especially on the internet.

    Antonyms

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