leg up


Definition of leg up

1 : a helping hand : boost

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Synonyms & Antonyms for leg up


abetment, aid, assist, assistance, backing, boost, hand, help, helping hand, lift, support



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Examples of leg up in a Sentence

a key endorsement that would give the struggling candidate a real leg up right now

Recent Examples on the Web

The most recent leg up came as the United States and China agreed to resume trade discussions and investors bet that policymakers will take steps to shore up economic growth. Washington Post, "U.S. stocks hit records before pullback tied to jobs report," 6 July 2019 Lift the leg up as high as your hips, then tap it to the right. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "Tone and tighten your butt with this 31-day routine," 1 July 2019 Adding to my confidence in picking Pagenaud is that Penske enters the weekend with a leg up on the field after last week’s test at Road America was canceled. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Driver-favorite Road America returns to kick off second half of IndyCar season," 20 June 2019 Manufacturers generally argue these constraints are necessary to protect proprietary information that gives their product a leg up in the overall marketplace. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "Hackers, farmers, and doctors unite! Support for Right to Repair laws slowly grows," 20 June 2019 In the trendy world of food halls, the newest twist is free rent for a handful of startups—giving novice restaurateurs a leg up in a tough business and the hall a source of fresh tastes. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Free Rent for Lucky Startups Brings New Tastes to Food Halls," 23 May 2019 Establishment Democrats could see Zalewski’s resignation as an opportunity to try to give a Hispanic ally a leg up on the competition, rather than seeing a member of the Garcia organization winning the City Council seat. John Byrne, chicagotribune.com, "Longtime Ald. Michael Zalewski to step down next month; Emanuel will get to appoint replacement," 9 Apr. 2018 Drew Angerer Getty Images While most investors are discussing the battle between tariffs pushing the stock market down or Fed interest rate cuts giving it another leg up, technical analysts are having a different discussion. Bob Sellers, Fortune, "The Market May Be Hitting the Dreaded 'Triple Top'—a Red Flag to Investors," 7 June 2019 At Sidwell Friends, one of America’s most famous Quaker schools, the desire manifested itself in bad behaviors—including parents spreading rumors about other students, ostensibly so that their children could get a leg up, the letter said. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "Parents Gone Wild: High Drama Inside D.C.’s Most Elite Private School," 5 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leg up.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of leg up

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near leg up




leg up

leg warmer



Statistics for leg up

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for leg up

The first known use of leg up was in 1871

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Comments on leg up

What made you want to look up leg up? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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