AskDefine | Define snafu

Dictionary Definition

snafu adj : snarled or stalled in complete confusion; "situation normal--all fucked-up" [syn: fucked-up] n : an acronym often used by soldiers in World War II: situation normal all fucked up v : cause to be in a state of complete confusion

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings

  • snafu


The term was born during the WWII as an acronym of the initials of the words "situation normal, all fucked up", which summed up the chaos and confusion of the war from an individual soldier's point of view.


Disputed... pronunciation can be on either syllable and the first vowel is /æ/, not /ɑː/, according to Regional differences may exist, so regionality labels are needed.
  • /ˈsnɑːfu/
  • /"snAfu/
  1. In the context of "military slang": euphemistically, fouled up.


snafu (plural snafus)
  1. A ridiculously chaotic situation.
  2. A major glitch or breakdown.
    • 2007, Susan Glairon, Paperwork SNAFU, The Daily Times-Call, LongmontFYI
      Because of a paperwork snafu, he also hasn’t been able to get his Army discharge papers and is still listed as an active-duty soldier...

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Extensive Definition

Snafu may refer to:
Snafu may also be:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Chinese puzzle, Gordian knot, Rube Goldberg contraption, anarchic, anarchy, arsy-varsy, ass-backwards, ball up, balled up, bollix, bollix up, bollixed up, bugger, bugger up, can of worms, chaos, chaotic, complex, confound, confuse, confused, confusion, cook, crab, cramp, crimp, fabulous formless darkness, foul up, foul-up, fouled up, fumble, galley-west, garble, gum, gum up, hash up, hassle, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, hugger-mugger, in a mess, jumble, jumbled, jungle, knot, labyrinth, license, louse up, maze, meander, mesh, mess, mess up, misrule, mix up, mix-up, mixed up, morass, muck up, mucked up, muddle, muddled, perplex, pi, play hell with, play hob with, queer, ravel, riffle, scattered, scramble, screw up, screw-up, screwed up, shuffle, sink, skimble-skamble, snake pit, snarl, snarl up, tangle, tangled skein, topsy-turvy, tumble, upside-down, webwork, wheels within wheels, wilderness
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