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 All three instances of entertaining papal drama—the real-life snafu, the Oscar-baiting movie, and, most notably, the prestige TV show—represent unmaskings, though there’s something deeper going on than the simple reminder that the pope is a person. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The New Pope’s Old Magic," 8 Jan. 2020 The snafu, which was first reported by Christine Stuart of CTNewsJunkie, occurred in Old Lyme, his temporary residence this summer. Daniela Altimari,, "Sen. Murphy’s vote didn’t count in this month’s local election because he was labeled an inactive voter," 26 Nov. 2019 But the company boasts reviews that are overwhelmingly positive, barring one recent music-licensing snafu, after which some users claimed the app’s music quality declined. Madeleine Laplante-dube, Outside Online, "Peloton Filed for an IPO," 6 June 2019 Some of the Kansas City players’ equipment arrived late to Gillette Stadium because of a cargo unloading snafu., "Patriots aren’t the favorites in the AFC anymore - The Boston Globe," 9 Dec. 2019 Although not yet open to the public because of nagging permit snafus, Maplecroft is available for rentals, private tours and special events. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Did she or didn’t she? On the bloody trail of Lizzie Borden in Fall River, Mass.," 20 Oct. 2019 This isn't the first time that the company, which has been valued at $1 billion, has suffered fulfillment snafus. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Rent the Runway Temporarily Stops Taking New Subscribers," 30 Sep. 2019 Although not as wild as the Golden Globes in January, when a luggage snafu ended with the team arriving in California without any of their supplies — InStyle actually wrote an article about it. Molly Guthrey, Twin Cities, "Nailed it: Minnesota team styling the nails of stars at Emmy Awards," 21 Sep. 2019 Chargers players and fans who remember the 1980 AFC Championship Game may welcome the news that King’s trip to San Diego was gummed up Saturday by an airline snafu. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: With Chargers gone, will Raiders fans expand presence in San Diego?," 31 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for snafu

Time Traveler

The first known use of snafu was circa 1941

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Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Snafu.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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How to pronounce snafu (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of snafu

chiefly US, somewhat informal : 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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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