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a means to an end

This page is about the idiom a means to an end


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

a. to be his wife

b. to meet his sister

c. to be rich

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey