since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

an end in itself

This page is about the idiom an end in itself

Meaning: If something is an end in itself, it's done for its own pleasure or benefit rather than for some other purpose like making money.

For example:

  • Billy says playing music in a band is an end in itself for him, but I think he does it to meet girls.

  • People used to think education was an end in itself, but these days kids study in order to make lots of money when they graduate.

Quick Quiz:

For Ari, music is an end in itself. She doesn't do it to

a. enjoy herself

b. entertain people

c. make money

Idiom of the Day

This entry is in the following categories:

Contributor: Matt Errey