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

But Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, was a no-show after running into a transportation snafu. Washington Post, "Official tells Florida Democrats to expect recount in 2020," 8 June 2019 Perhaps they were spooked by a lighting snafu that forced the company to re-start the show after a handful of lines. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, "Review: Dark & Stormy’s ‘Dry Powder’ is a one-trick pony that gallops haltingly," 7 June 2019 This wasn’t even the biggest snafu the pop star experienced during her stadium tour. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift Falls During Concert," 23 July 2018 The company offered a routine apology regarding the snafu, explaining that up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to these photos between September 13 to September 25. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Facebook's Latest Leak Is a Timely Reminder That Your Data Is Snagged Even Before You Hit Publish," 14 Dec. 2018 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

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

15 Jun 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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