Definition of snafu in English:


Syllabification: sna·fu
Pronunciation: /snaˈfo͞o
North American informal


  • A confused or chaotic state; a mess: an enormous amount of my time was devoted to untangling snafus
    More example sentences
    • In recent years the defense and aerospace giant has weathered operational snafus, ethical scandals, criminal convictions, and abrupt executive departures.
    • Soon the entire situation spirals out of control into a tragicomic mess of blunders, language barriers, bureaucratic snafus, and spin control.
    • After arriving, we encountered a few administrative snafus, but we quickly surmounted them, and we were set to start carrier ops the next day.
    muddle, mess, tangle, jumble, confusion; misunderstanding, misinterpretation, misconception; mistake, mix-up, bungle
    informal hash, foul-up, screw-up


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  • In utter confusion or chaos: our refrigeration plant is snafu
    More example sentences
    • In a follow-up to the seaweed snafu news of these past weeks, we can report that some of the weed has been dispersed but there remains a persistent pungency in the on-shore breeze.


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  • Throw (a situation) into chaos: you ignored his orders and snafued everything
    More example sentences
    • Accounts differ about what happened to snafu that deal, but because it didn't go through, IBM contacted a small company called Microsoft.


1940s: acronym from situation normal: all fouled (or fucked) up.

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