I have checked the Longman dictionary definition of skip:

not do something [transitive] informal to not do something that you usually do or that you should do (SYN miss)

I still can't understand the meaning of the word 'skip' in this sentence:

Caroline skipped the better part of childhood.

I need the contextual meaning.

  • 4
    I can help give you some advice about asking questions on Stack Exchange. We typically expect people to do at least a modicum of research before they ask a question. So, instead of asking, "Anybody can help?" it would be better to say something like: "I looked in <add a link to the dictionary you used here> but none of those meanings seemed to fit." That way, your question is much less likely to be closed for this close reason: Basic questions on spelling, meaning or pronunciation are off-topic as they should be answered using a dictionary.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 10:47
  • @J.R. you can skip those kinds of questions that you find nonsense to your own point of view. i have checked Longman dictionary and I couldn't find the meaning of this word in this context. i am not messing around here. also, in reply to your last sentence, the other types of questions can be found in other books, so what is the use of this website then?
    – jasmine
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 11:05
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    @jasmine You should probably take the tour and look over How do I ask a good question in the help center. Your question does not meet the site's quality standards. The "Details, Please" link in the close reason above has some good advice for including enough research in your questions. If you edit your question to add the required detail we should be able to take it off hold.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 11:08
  • 4
    @jasmine - Um, I never said anything about "nonsense." Moreover, as a site moderator, I could have easily closed your question when I left my comment, but I left it open hoping that you would simply follow the suggestion instead. (I'm glad the edits have been made, but I wanted to clear that up. "Here is some helpful advice on how to improve your questions" ≠ "Your question is nonsense and you should stop messing around here".)
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 14:52

3 Answers 3


Caroline skipped the better part of childhood.

You have the meaning of skipped, and this might just be a Brit English thing but "the better part of" often means "the largest part of"

the better part of


Almost all of; most of.

‘it is the better part of a mile’

So this means that Caroline missed most of her childhood.

I just did a quick search and found this book http://www.penguin.com/ajax/books/excerpt/9781101984307

Caroline skipped the better part of childhood, never cared about sneaking off to go swimming when she was supposed to be hanging out the laundry. She never begged for seconds of Grandma’s banana pudding or lied about brushing teeth. It would seem, however, that the chance to see her future husband is the one thing to give Caroline some gumption because before Annie can grab hold of Caroline’s arm or sweater or any part of her, Caroline has pressed her palms on top of the fence, jumped, plopped her hind end on the flat rocks, lifted her legs, and dropped down on the other side.

If this is the text you mean, Caroline was always rather grown up, she didn't do the other childish things other children did, she went straight from baby to boring sensible adult, apart from 1 small item, seeing this boy or man.

  • yes that is the book I am reading. I got it. you are right. thank you.
    – jasmine
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 4:44

In my opinion, in that specific sentence, "skipped" refers to the fact that Caroline, could not or did not want to, live/enjoy the better part of her childhood. As the dictionary states "not to do something", in the case of childhood could be "not to live something" in the sense of getting advantage of that stage of her life.

If you indicate your first language, someone could give you a better idea of how to understand that word in the context.


Literally, to "skip" is to hop from leg to leg, or to hop over something.

Figuratively, it means to not do something, to "leap over it", so to speak.

If your car has automatic transmission, you can skip this section on how to use the gear shifter.

As a young child, she already knew how to read, so she skipped first grade and was placed directly in the second grade.

She skipped breakfast because she was late for work.

So Caroline "skipped" something about childhood that the author considers the best thing about childhood. She "hopped over" that part and went directly on to whatever part of childhood is not as good as the best part.

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