What does whoa mean?

Expression of surprise

Whoa is a common term people use to express surprise or shock at something. You will see or hear it in messages, in emails, online, and in real life (IRL).

For example, your sister may be talking on the phone and exclaim, "Whoa! Is he OK?" when discovering your neighbor was in a car accident. Or, your mom and dad may text you an awesome birthday surprise, and you respond with, "Whoa! Amazing!" While the pronunciation is the same, people may also spell whoa as "woah."

Origin of whoa

The slang term "whoa" dates back to the 14th century as the Old English "ho!" People used ho similarly to how we now use whoa when surprised. However, the spelling has evolved throughout the years as it has become a popular term.


Whoa! I had no idea they got engaged!
Ya, they kept it a secret for a while

That whoa reaction

Related Slang


Updated April 3, 2023

Whoa definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Whoa" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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