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a means to an end

Meaning: You can say something is a means to an end if it's the way to reach a goal, or the way to achieve something.

For example:

  • Rupert plays golf, but he doesn't really enjoy it. It's just a means to an end for him because so much business is done on the golf course these days.

  • The medical school interviews all candidates and tries to weed out people for whom becoming a doctor is just a means to an end. They don't want people whose real goal is making money.

Quick Quiz:

Marrying James was just a means to an end for Kerry. Her real goal was
  1. to be his wife
  2. to meet his sister
  3. to be rich

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