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snafu

A snafu is an obstacle or glitch that keeps you from accomplishing something. We hoped to get to the campsite before sundown, but due to several snafus along the way, including a run-in with a bear, we didn't set up camp until midnight.

Snafu was originally a World War II-era military acronym standing for "situation normal: all fouled up" (although stronger language was frequently used in place of the word "fouled"). Back in the military, a snafu would have been a dangerous situation, but this word is used now for any kind of error, goof, or mixed-up situation. If you drive all the way to the baseball stadium before realizing you left your tickets at home, that's a snafu.

Definitions of snafu
  1. noun
    an acronym often used by soldiers in World War II ("situation normal: all fouled up")
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bloomer, blooper, blunder, boo-boo, botch, bungle, flub, foul-up, pratfall
    an embarrassing mistake
  2. adjective
    snarled or stalled in complete confusion
    Synonyms:
    disorganised, disorganized
    lacking order or methodical arrangement or function
  3. verb
    cause to be in a state of complete confusion
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    type of:
    embrangle, snarl, snarl up
    make more complicated or confused through entanglements
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