Why was clemency trending last week?


[sna-foo, snaf-oo] /snæˈfu, ˈsnæf u/
a badly confused or ridiculously muddled situation:
A ballot snafu in the election led to a recount.
Antonyms: order, efficiency, calm.
adjective, Rare.
in disorder; out of control; chaotic:
a snafu scheme that simply won't work.
verb (used with object), snafued, snafuing. Rare.
to throw into disorder; muddle:
Losing his passport snafued the whole vacation.
Synonyms: confuse, mess up, bungle.
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for snafu
  • Weak because he's brought down not by inner conflict but by an outer snafu.
  • The second snafu was more localized, but more severe for those affected.
  • Both audio and video transmitted perfectly without any sort of digital snafu.
  • My own flight snafu involved one cancelled leg out of a four-flight, round-trip itinerary.
  • That's not the only security snafu that's happened recently.
  • Although the snafu gave her a measure of fame, it was mostly a nuisance.
  • Then, he couldn't view the videos because of a software snafu.
British Dictionary definitions for snafu


confusion or chaos regarded as the normal state
(postpositive) confused or muddled up, as usual
verb -fus, -fuing, -fued
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to throw into chaos
Word Origin
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for snafu



: The husband and wife were ''smurfs,'' a type of drug-money launderer. A husband-and-wife smurfing team will travel from bank to bank, posing as strangers


: To avoid being reported by banks, criminals often make numerous deposits of slightly less than $10,000, a practice known as smurfing (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for snafu


  1. situation normal all fouled up
  2. situation normal all fucked up
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for snafu

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for snafu

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for snafu