• synonyms


[sna-foo, snaf-oo]
See more synonyms for snafu on Thesaurus.com
  1. a badly confused or ridiculously muddled situation: A ballot snafu in the election led to a recount.
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adjective Rare.
  1. in disorder; out of control; chaotic: a snafu scheme that simply won't work.
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verb (used with object), sna·fued, sna·fu·ing. Rare.
  1. to throw into disorder; muddle: Losing his passport snafued the whole vacation.
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Origin of snafu

1940–45; s(ituation) n(ormal): a(ll) f(ucked) u(p); sometimes euphemistically construed as f(ouled) u(p)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for snafu

misunderstanding, miscalculation, blunder, mix-up, foul-up, mess, confusion, flub, screwup, blooper, slip, error, oversight, bungle, misjudgment, goof-up

Examples from the Web for snafu

Contemporary Examples of snafu

Historical Examples of snafu

  • "We're not giving her a chance to snafu the works," Gotch said grimly.

  • Everything was in apple-pie order, except for the snafu in Arzachel, Crag thought bitterly.

British Dictionary definitions for snafu


  1. confusion or chaos regarded as the normal state
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  1. (postpositive) confused or muddled up, as usual
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verb -fus, -fuing or -fued
  1. (tr) US and Canadian to throw into chaos
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Word Origin for snafu

C20: from s (ituation) n (ormal): a (ll) f (ucked or ouled) u (p)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for snafu


1941, U.S. military slang, acronym for situation normal, all fucked up, "an expression conveying the common soldier's laconic acceptance of the disorder of war and the ineptitude of his superiors" ["Oxford English Dictionary"]. As an adjective from 1942. In public explanations the word typically was euphemised to fouled.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper