Meaning of snafu in English:


Pronunciation /snaˈfuː/

Translate snafu into Spanish


informal North American
  • A confused or chaotic state; a mess.

    • ‘an enormous amount of my time was devoted to untangling snafus’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Should a snafu come to public attention, and there is a free press to ask embarrassing questions and point accusatory fingers, then they can see their careers end overnight.’
    • ‘In a snafu worthy of WCW, the ring wasn't miked properly which made most of the moves and almost all pinfall attempts come off like watching a silent movie.’
    commotion, uproar, outcry, disturbance, hubbub, hurly-burly, fuss, upset, tumult, brouhaha, palaver, to-do, pother, turmoil, tempest, agitation, pandemonium, confusion


informal North American
  • In utter confusion or chaos.

    • ‘our refrigeration plant is snafu’
    • ‘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.’


[with object] informal North American
  • Throw (a situation) into chaos.

    • ‘you ignored his orders and snafued everything’
    • ‘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.