to little purpose

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to little purpose

Also, to no purpose. Of little or no use, in vain, as in Hiring a new lawyer will be to little purpose. The related phrases are sometimes combined in to little or no purpose and used as a general indicator of futility. To little purpose was first recorded in 1560. For a synonym, see to no avail; also see to good purpose.
See also: little, purpose
References in classic literature ?
That will help us to understand how the love of accumulating money grows an absorbing passion in men whose imaginations, even in the very beginning of their hoard, showed them no purpose beyond it.
I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists.
I take the official oath today with no mental reservations, and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules.
When bills are on the eve of falling due, with not a dollar in hand with which to meet them, it is pretty difficult to learn not to worry, although I think I am learning more and more each year that all worry simply consumes, and to no purpose, just so much physical and mental strength that might otherwise be given to effective work.
I had had no purpose, no sustaining soul within me, anywhere.
I have made it, thus far, with no purpose of suppressing any of my thoughts; for, as I have elsewhere said, this narrative is my written memory.