only to (do something)

only to (do something)

An expression used to highlight an upsetting, disappointing, or otherwise unpleasant action that occurred immediately after something else. I worked on that proposal for over a month, only to find that they had awarded the contract to the firm across town. It can be disheartening to spend a lot of time preparing a meal only to have your kids turn their nose up at it.
See also: to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

only to do something

(written) used to show that something happened immediately after something else, especially when this is disappointing, surprising, etc: I arrived at the museum only to find that it was closed for the day.She tried to be friendly to him, only to be shouted at again.
See also: something, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also: