Also found in: Financial.
1. Literally, a boost from another person that enables one to reach something that one could not reach on one's own. Give me a leg up so I can reach the dishes on the top shelf.
2. An advantage in a situation or over another person. Getting certifications will definitely give you a leg up in the IT industry. I knew I had a leg up on my opponent when I saw that he was struggling to counter my opening moves.
Fig. a kind of help where someone provides a knee or crossed hand as a support for someone to place a foot on to get higher, as in mounting a horse or climbing over something. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) I gave her a leg up, and soon she was on her horse. Can I give you a leg up? Could I please have a leg up?
leg up, a
1. The act of assisting someone, giving someone a boost. For example, Studying with Jane, who knows French history well, will give you a leg up for the final exam . This usage alludes to helping a person get on a horse by getting a foot in the stirrup. [First half of 1800s]
2. A position of advantage, as in Because of the advertising campaign, we had a leg up on the competition.
See also: leg
a leg upSlang
1. The act or an instance of assisting; a boost.
2. A position of advantage; an edge: We have a leg up on the competition.