means to an end


Also found in: Legal, Wikipedia.

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 ?
But Means to An End is more than a novel about one woman's search for freedom: it's an interconnected story of family relationships, repetitive cycles, and patterns of acting and reacting, covering all the elements that influence courage and survival.
I was acutely conscious that today was a means to an end.
Time affected moral judgments in this way when hypothetical scenarios involved harming someone as a means to an end, Suter and Hertwig report in an upcoming Cognition.
This is, of course, only a means to an end. The really important thing in all this is the Welsh language - and how Welsh TV can play its part in protecting it.
ALWAYS treat your customers, co-workers and business partners as an end in themselves, and never only as a means to an end.
"When we intervene on the disease of ad-diction we use love as a means to an end" they write "because it is the means--not the end--that defines who we are and where this journey will take our family."
Religion is a means to an end, but not the only means.
"These games are a means to an end, that's all," he said.
Although he knew his way around numbers and studied economics in the College of Staten Island, Chiellino said that, when he landed a part-time job at Title Guarantee Title Insurance Company during his college years, it was simply a means to an end until his finished his degree.
Bruce Carlson gave the officers an overview of the enemy and how it exploits Islam and uses terrorism as a means to an end. He said Islamic terrorists seek to overthrow and control moderate nations.
The intent was probably okay, but the means to an end was problematic." At least the teens learned how to get big press attention for their school.
Form is as much a means to an end, as an end in itself, and in consideration of this site and this family Fobert set about generating a distinctive and specifically shaped concrete figure; a compelling object in its own right, that would reinforce and support the decrepit structure; open up and connect upper and lower ground floors--to creating the desired scale of spaces; and reorder the spatial sequencing--to break up the traditional arrangement of front room, back room and rear extension.
Massey, basketball is a means to an end, not an end in itself, however.
Similarly, Saracens and Sale both boast big packs, but the Sharks, in particular, use their bulk as a means to an end rather than just to hold up their opponents, with Andrew Sheridan and Sebastien Chabal loving to run upfield.
It takes drive, stamina, and determination; it's what very successful people do, not as a means to an end, but as a way of life.