- give or receive assistance to achieve a goal
- give someone a helping hand or boost them on in some way
- help that puts someone at an advantage or a head start over other people
- an act of helping someone to mount a high object or horse
- Completing the summer study program gives pupils a leg up in the following academic year.
- Speaking three languages certainly gave Laura a leg up in the interview for the promotion.
- We had a leg-up on the competition after the celebrity endorsement of our products last month.
- I gave her a leg up over the fence, then I followed her over, and we ran down the road laughing.
- Cassy was glad that her grandmother had taught her some dressmaking skills when she was younger because now it gave her a leg-up when making party dresses for her three daughters.
- All those weekends spent fixing up old bangers with his father, has given Gabe a leg up in maintaining his first car.
The history of this phrase alludes to helping someone up onto a horse. You cup your hands, creating a foothold for one of their feet while they propel their other leg up into the stirrup. From there, they can swing into the saddle.