a means to an end

means to an end

The way that one achieves a specific objective, which is not an objective or ultimate goal itself. Having that unpaid internship was just a means to an end—it helped me get my foot in the door at the company, where I now work full-time!
See also: end, mean

a means to an end

a thing that is not valued or important in itself but is useful in achieving an aim.
End and means are compared or contrasted in several proverbial sayings, for example the end justifies the means (see end) and he who wills the end wills the means .
See also: end, mean

(be) a ˌmeans to an ˈend

a thing you do only in order to achieve or obtain something else: He saw his college education simply as a means to an end — a well-paid job.
See also: end, mean
References in periodicals archive ?
Fighting is a means to an end, a chance to get his foot in the NHL door, but Parros looks forward to the day when he's not simply known as a brawler.