to little purpose
Also, to no purpose. Of little or no use, in vain, as in Hiring a new lawyer will be to little purpose. The related phrases are sometimes combined in to little or no purpose and used as a general indicator of futility. To little purpose was first recorded in 1560. For a synonym, see to no avail; also see to good purpose.
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But Babylon asks us to do a little more: It wants us to empathize.'Babylon' Review: The Dumb Lives of Trigger-Happy Cops|Melissa Leon|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Everybody is trapped in an elevator together and tempers run a little hot.
How about baby drama with little Abijean and the Wee Baby Seamus?
I was a little mystified at how benignly he responded to my questions about his business activities.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Scalise spoke briefly, adding little of substance, saying that the people back home know him best.
It is most peculiar, and when he plays that way, the most bewitching little expression comes over his face.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
In less than ten minutes, the bivouac was broken up, and our little army on the march.
A little boy of four was moved to passionate grief at the sight of a dead dog taken from a pond.Children's Ways|James Sully
Squinty could look out, but the slats were as close together as those in a chicken coop, and the little pig could not get out.Squinty the Comical Pig|Richard Barnum
Then there was Wee Wo,—he was a little Chinese chap, and we used to send him down the chimneys to open front doors for us.Davy and The Goblin|Charles E. Carryl