Definition of a means to an end in English:

a means to an end

phrase

  • A thing that is not valued or important in itself but is useful in achieving an aim:

    ‘higher education was seen primarily as a means to an end’
    • ‘It's a means to an end, and I have to go to practice.’
    • ‘Money is only a means to an end - it is fuel for my projects.’
    • ‘We view our technology as a means to an end, and the end is always to deliver business value.’
    • ‘‘I don't think much of gaming,’ says Morgan, ‘but it was a means to an end.’’
    • ‘Grants are a means to an end, and allow a faculty member to hire students or technicians and conduct research.’
    • ‘So advertising is only a means to an end - if an alternative method existed to increase the reputation of the product, it would also serve the seller's purpose.’
    • ‘‘It's a means to an end,’ she said as she turned a corner around the stairs.’
    • ‘However, it must be used as a means to an end and not the end itself.’
    • ‘Small talk is all about social connection; the content is a means to an end.’
    • ‘But remember that they are just a means to an end.’