[ sna-foo, snaf-oo ]
/ snæˈfu, ˈsnæf u /


a badly confused or ridiculously muddled situation: A ballot snafu in the election led to a recount.

adjective Rare.

in disorder; out of control; chaotic: a snafu scheme that simply won't work.

verb (used with object), sna·fued, sna·fu·ing. Rare.

to throw into disorder; muddle: Losing his passport snafued the whole vacation.

Origin of snafu

1940–45; s(ituation) n(ormal): a(ll) f(ucked) u(p); sometimes euphemistically construed as f(ouled) u(p) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for snafu

British Dictionary definitions for snafu


/ (snæˈfuː) slang mainly military /


confusion or chaos regarded as the normal state


(postpositive) confused or muddled up, as usual

verb -fus, -fuing or -fued

(tr) US and Canadian to throw into chaos

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper