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

To avoid another snafu, Travolta asked Queen Latifah to read the winner. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Oops, John Travolta did it again — this time with Taylor Swift at the VMAs," 27 Aug. 2019 Yes, the Knicks missed out on big stars in free agency and had a few PR snafus. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Key takeaways from the NBA's Summer League in Las Vegas," 16 July 2019 But Hudson rectified that unfortunate legal snafu on Thursday night with a soul-shattering performance of the classic that brought the entire audience, including Washington himself, to their feet. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Chadwick Boseman calls Denzel Washington the 'G.O.A.T' and other highlights from his AFI Life Achievement tribute," 7 June 2019 With this gold star snafu coming next year, the lines will only grow longer. Dallas News, "If your driver’s license lacks a star you might need to spend hours at the license center. Ugh.," 19 July 2019 This last-minute snafu was one of many preparations made for the Obamas' trip. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "George and Amal Clooney Hosted Barack and Michelle Obama at Their Humble Italian Abode," 25 June 2019 Republicans turned this records-management snafu into a prominent issue in the 2016 campaign. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Ivanka Trump used personal email for official White House business," 20 Nov. 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 Of course, by this Decision 3.0, LeBron and everyone else had enough practice to carry it out with no public-relations snafus. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: LeBron's decision changes L.A., East ... and Heat hopes," 2 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

7 Sep 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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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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