sna·fu | \sna-ˈfü, ˈsna-ˌfü\

Definition of snafu 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: a situation marked by errors or confusion : muddle also : an error causing such a situation a scheduling snafu



Definition of snafu (Entry 2 of 3)

: snarled or stalled in confusion : awry


snafued; snafuing; snafus

Definition of snafu (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to bring into a state of confusion

Examples of snafu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Critics claimed Trump's gesture gave North Korea more reason to claim legitimacy on the world stage, while others called it a reflexive, if unfortunate, snafu. Joshua Hafner, USA TODAY, "OnPolitics Today: 'We'll stop it,' FBI agent said of Trump election," 14 June 2018 However, there are also plenty of options for cord-cutters who want to watch the live event in case of another envelope snafu (and, at least one recent study found that the number of people planning to stream award shows this year will jump 28%). Tom Huddleston Jr., Fortune, "Oscars 2018: How to Watch the Academy Awards on TV and Streaming Online," 1 Mar. 2018 One lot of Wish Bone House Italian dressing got recalled after a customer noticed a labeling snafu on several bottles that could be an issue for food allergy sufferers. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "A potential food allergy problem caused 7,768 cases of salad dressing to get recalled," 29 June 2018 Then again, turning a snafu into good PR because you're worried the internet might be mad at you? Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Taylor Swift and J.K. Rowling Posed for a Selfie and Ignited an Important Debate," 25 June 2018 Due to a bureaucratic snafu, Real had missed the fact that Cheryshev was supposed to be suspended for the game due to yellow cards picked up while on loan the previous season. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Russian Soccer’s Foreign Agent," 24 June 2018 The stranded, in this case, are a group of Egyptian musicians who wind up in a remote Israeli town due to a travel snafu. Constance Grady, Vox, "Your guide to the 17 most important nominees at this year’s Tonys," 7 June 2018 But for nominated star Margot Robbie, a bit of a gown snafu was not going to hold her back from continuing to enjoy Hollywood’s big night. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Margot Robbie Fixed Her Own Oscars Wardrobe Malfunction Like a Multitasking Hero," 5 Mar. 2018 The deputy assessor in Newtown says a DMV snafu was the reason Eva Bermudez Zimmerman was late making her car tax payment. Daniela Altimari,, "DMV Snafu Caused Eva Bermudez Zimmerman to Be Late on Car Tax," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snafu.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of snafu


circa 1941, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above


1943, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for snafu


situation normal all fucked up (fouled up)

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Dictionary Entries near snafu

snack bar

snack table




snag boat


Statistics for snafu

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for snafu

The first known use of snafu was circa 1941

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English Language Learners Definition of snafu

: a problem that makes a situation difficult or confusing

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