Definition of an end in itself in US English:

an end in itself


  • A goal that is pursued in its own right to the exclusion of others.

    • ‘Though Cha took an intellectual approach to art making, theory was not an end in itself.’
    • ‘Any rational nation will treat the U.N. as a means to pursue its ends, not as an end in itself.’
    • ‘Now winning, or doing well in that competition appears to be an end in itself.’
    • ‘In some cases the process of seeking someone to blame has even become an end in itself and seems to lead some people even further astray.’
    • ‘State power, in that context, is a means to an end, not an end in itself.’
    • ‘Selling quality food overseas is not just an end in itself.’
    • ‘It is a means toward a goal rather than an end in itself.’
    • ‘Children must be made to know that they exist for the society in which they live, rather than seeing the family as an end in itself.’
    • ‘Affirmative action is not an end in itself, but an instrument in the struggle for anti-racist movement.’
    • ‘They are, of course, immune to the notion of money as an end in itself.’
    • ‘We do not believe that it can be pursued as an end in itself.’