What does "a means to an end" mean?

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Anonymous:
Hello, everyone! I met a sentence which I don't quite understand. It says "Work is a means to an end." Can anyone tell me what it means? Thanks in advance!
Approved answer (verified by )
A means to an end is an idiom. It is used when something you are doing (work) is not as important to you as what you hope to achieve by doing it (in this case, probably money). Whoever says this does not really enjoy their job in itself, it is a job they are just doing to earn some money.
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Anonymous:
a means to an end
something that you are not interested in but that you do because it will help you to achieve something else. Mike doesn't have any professional ambitions. For him, work is just a means to an end. (not used with the)

See also: end , mean

Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms © Cambridge University Press 1998
a means to an end
something done to achieve something else. You may get tired of regular physical exercise, but it's simply a means to an end.

See also: end , mean

Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms © Cambridge University Press 2003
Approved answer (verified by )
Anonymous:
Think of it in this way:

Means is defined as an instrument to accomplish some end; End is defined as a result of using the means. So, if we were to put them together, we would say that something is an instrument (means) to obtain some result (end).

Hope this will help...
ALL REPLIES
I'd like to add that, in my opinion, the word end in this idiom means goal, purpose in which case the idiom means (like nona just said) 'a means to achieve your goal'.
New Member17
Thank you for your help.
New Member01
Anonymous:
In philosophy, it means that you are using someone to achieve certain objectives. It's like treating someone as a 'stepping stone'.
Anonymous:
This is the best answer.
Anonymous:
It means simply that it work is used to reach a goal....
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