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 Manchin used the snafu to further tar his wealthy opponent—who had supported NAFTA and opposed the minimum wage—as a fake friend of the workingman. Sam Adler-bell, The New Republic, "Joe Manchin, King of the Senate," 3 Feb. 2021 Unlike other hair emergencies, this one is so far beyond a hair snafu and requires medical attention. Darian Symoné Harvin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tessica Brown Finally Got the Gorilla Glue Out of Her Hair," 11 Feb. 2021 Soler briefly mentioned Thursday that there remains the potential for the Morales snafu to result in additional litigation. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "No vote on Milwaukee's next police chief expected until at least March 18," 4 Feb. 2021 Friday's game will finally feature the NHL debut of Newport Beach native Sasha Chmelevski, who was scratched moments before warm-ups last week when the team was informed of a transaction snafu. Ross Mckeon, San Francisco Chronicle, "Tightened coronavirus restrictions await Sharks as they again take to the road," 4 Feb. 2021 Spokespeople for both companies said the consent snafu has been straightened out but declined to share specific figures on their vaccinations, which began nationwide last week. Alexander Tin, CBS News, "The COVID vaccine rollout is falling millions of doses short. Here's why.," 31 Dec. 2020 The rogue guest on Fox Business on Wednesday temporarily fooled the anchor, who later in the show apologized for the snafu. Los Angeles Times, "Animal rights activist posed as major food company CEO, hoaxing Fox News host on live TV," 24 Dec. 2020 Sanofi’s reagent mishap is the second laboratory snafu in recent months to raise questions about the prospects of a leading vaccine candidate. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, "Sanofi-GSK Covid-19 Vaccine Is Set Back by Lab Mistake," 11 Dec. 2020 Antrim County was subject to an onslaught of national headlines weeks ago after votes in the presidential contest were found to be counted incorrectly in unofficial results, a snafu that officials have blamed on human error. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Michigan accuses team that conducted Dominion equipment audit in Antrim County of 'cover-up'," 15 Dec. 2020

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

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The first known use of snafu was circa 1941

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Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Snafu.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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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