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Means To An End: Definition, Origin & Useful Examples in English

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Means To An End Meaning! What does the idiom “means to an end” mean? Learn the definition, its origin with useful example sentences and ESL printable infographic in English.

Means To An End Meaning

Means To An End

What Does “Means To An End” Mean?

The idiom “Means To An End” (a means to an end) indicates something that you do to achieve a specific objective or to produce a desired result, not because it is important or you enjoy to do it.

Origin of Means To An End

The word “Means” has several meanings. In the phrase “means to an end” it means, approximately, a way or method to do something or accomplish your goal.

The word “end” is used in the phrase to mean “an aim, intention, or purpose”; desired object or objective is another way of saying it.

Example Sentences

  • He regarded his marriage merely as a means to an end.
  • I don’t enjoy studying computing? it’s just a means to an end.
  • He saw his education merely as a means to an end.
  • He regarded his marriage merely as a means to an end: he just wanted his wife’s wealth.
  • For Geoff, the job was simply a means to an end.
  • Here, an instrument, the means to an end, is coordinated with a pre-established goal….
  • Protection is vital: but as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.
  • This was not just a very effective means to an end: it was an end in itself-and a gamble.
  • The young man was merely a means to an end and, in both cases, that end had now been served.
  • These should be viewed as a means to an end, rather than as ends in themselves.
  • Showbiz was a means to an end.
  • We seem to have lost sight of the fact that marketing is only a means to an end.
  • He doesn’t particularly like the work but he sees it as a means to an end.
  • I didn’t particularly like the job – it was just a means to an end.
  • Kant is opposed to treating humans as merely means to an end.
  • Technology is not a magic wand, but only a means to an end.
  • You should not regard the course simply as a means to an end.

Means To An End | Synonyms

Means To An End Synonyms List

Here is the list of common synonyms for the phrase “Means To An End” in English:

  • Ends justify the means
  • Machiavellian
  • Underhand
  • Sneaky
  • Scheming
  • Deviously
  • Crafty
  • Guile
  • Cunning
Related  Eat Your Heart Out Meaning with Interesting Example Sentences

Synonyms for “Means To An End” with Examples

Ends justify the means

  • We can argue about whether the ends justify the means but the public can grasp the need for such a mechanism.


  • An honest man doesn’t do anything underhand.


  • It is a sneaky and underhand way of doing business.


  • They are scheming to get her elected as leader.


  • He got the promotion by behaving deviously.


  • This was a crafty manoeuvre to outwit his pursuers.


  • George was a man completely lacking in guile.


  • She relied on her native cunning to survive.
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