means to an end

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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.
Tipperary are obviously a hugely serious team and, as it turned out, we won well but like I said it is a means to an end and I am not thinking of how we played or didn't play, we have a huge game to get ready for.
A fourth approach starts from the story's own perspective but proceeds to use films, novels, and epics as means to an end, appropriating any insights or sensibilities gained as opportunities to enhance personal growth.
Efficiency, she argues, is simply a way of doing things, a means to an end but, if we do not understand what the end is, then we are just babbling.
Storage management is only a means to an end since end users don't care about storage; they care only about their data.
Competitive sourcing is a means to an end, with the means being competition and the end being better management of our government and better service for our citizens.
For Heidegger, technology (der Technik) is not the means to an end we may think it is but rather, "essentially," akin to artmaking (itself akin to poetry)--a bringing forth or expressing of something that was already there.
Terrorism is not an end in itself but a means to an end.
However, Tromly's single-minded approach tends to rob Marlowe of any impulse other than iconoclastic cruelty He rejects the possibility (indeed, likelihood) that Marlowe's cruelty is a means to an end somewhat more elevated than an impulse to "do dirt on humanity," as Wilbur Sanders once characterized the motivations of Edward II in a notoriously homophobic outburst.
But HPI's Carlos Zometa, an international program director who is also a breeding specialist, explains that animals are a means to an end.
Buildings, for example, are a necessary means to an end but never an end in themselves.
For plants, the show is only a means to an end -- the end being mating success," Harder explains.
With this simple truth so vividly illustrated, the author goes on to describe the principles of controlling our thoughts and our body, the proper use of mortification (it's a means to an end, not an end in itself), and how to preserve the golden mean between extremes.