Snefru (snĕf´rōō), fl. c.2780 BC, king of ancient Egypt, last king of the III dynasty; predecessor of Khufu. Snefru began commerce across the open sea with Phoenicia, for the cedar logs of Lebanon, and built ships nearly 170 ft (50 m) long for use on the Nile. He was successful against Nubia in the south and permanently established Egypt's power in the copper-producing Sinai peninsula. His tomb was the largest up to that time.