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

As reported by Vox, local authorities chalked the snafu up to a technical glitch and refused oversight from the FBI. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "If the 2018 Election Is Hacked, This Is How It Will Happen," 5 Nov. 2018 And this time, the organizers have taken steps to avoid a repeat of last year’s snafu. Ally Marotti,, "Pokemon Go Fest is back and ready for the crowds after disappointing thousands last year," 12 July 2018 The snafu meant that the college failed to comply with another federal requirement: actively warning students and employees about serious threats to their safety. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, "State audit finds colleges did not accurately disclose campus-area crimes," 10 May 2018 Unfortunately, the season was also filled with some unexpected costume snafus, including a dangerous encounter with colored contacts and this mom who accidentally used spray paint as hair dye. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "One Mother Accidentally Applied Spray Paint Instead of Hair Dye to Her Child’s Hair," 2 Nov. 2018 MoviePass’s financial problems have been compounded by technical snafus, such as available showings disappearing from the app without notice, and by the steps the service has taken against fraudulent uses of its payment systems. Benjamin Din, WSJ, "MoviePass Woes May Be Opportunity for Competitors," 14 Sep. 2018 To avoid such a snafu in your home, bring in a new model every 7-15 years. Bridget Mallon, ELLE Decor, "Here's the Real Lifespan of 10 Common Home Items," 14 Aug. 2018 The Huskies have won 30 games for the 12th time in 15 years under Penders, negotiating a strong schedule despite one injury and travel snafu after another, and were 19th in the RPI by Sunday evening, according to Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: UConn Baseball Restores Calm To Season With 'Exhale Win'," 14 May 2018 From surprise guest appearances to an unexpected showtime snafu, each performance has been unique. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Was Photographed Dancing at Taylor Swift's "Reputation" Tour," 29 July 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

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snafu

Comments on snafu

What made you want to look up snafu? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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