sna·​fu | \ sna-ˈfü How to pronounce snafu (audio) , 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

The reason for the snafu stems from a bureaucratic jumble involving different airline contractors and a flight path that was filed dead wrong. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A British Airways Flight From London to Germany Accidentally Landed in Scotland," 25 Mar. 2019 In typical fashion, Ms. Merkel dithered forcefully through several party elections, hinting that the snafu would be fixed at the expense of German auto makers, not taxpayers or car owners. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "The Lessons of ‘Dieselgate’," 4 Jan. 2019 Instagram users are lighting up the comment section of Khloé Kardashian's most recent photograph, and accusing the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star of a major Photoshop snafu. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Internet Collectively Called Out Khloé Kardashian's Major Photoshop Fail," 1 Feb. 2019 Firms as big as Knight Capital Group have been brought down by computer snafus. Liz Hoffman And Telis Demos, WSJ, "Wall Street Erases the Line Between Its Jocks and Nerds," 18 Aug. 2018 Michigan First Congressional District: Democrats deal with administrative snafu in order to compete Who is the Republican? Li Zhou, Vox, "Every August 7 primary election you should know about, briefly explained," 7 Aug. 2018 Further complications arose via construction costs, technical snafus with their online menu and wrangling with regulations set by the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Graham Hacia, Billboard, "Records & Reefer: Amoeba Music's Flagship Store in Berkeley Opens Hi-Fidelity Pot Shop to Boost Business," 11 June 2018 Besides being one of the most popular memes in the world, Swaggy P is also no stranger to social media snafus. Khadrice Rollins,, "Nick Young on Having Burner Accounts for Social Media: 'Nah, I Just Like to Get Hacked A Lot'," 30 May 2018 The problem and other bureaucratic snafus have impacted hundreds of other inmates. Vince Cerasani, Chicago Reader, "Last week's Reader cover art was actually an intricate 3D paper cutout," 29 May 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

20 Apr 2019

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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

chiefly US, somewhat informal : a problem that makes a situation difficult or confusing

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something valued as if it were money

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