I'd like to know if anyone can elaborate the sentence below (from the Red Headed League by Conan Doyle), specifically the characters movement?

He made a sweeping bow to the three of us and walked quietly off in the custody of the detective.

Is this "sweeping bow" just a courteous bow where you lower your head very low (almost as if bending over)? Or does this indicate specific movements quintessential in western customs that I don't know? Like..

1 Turning over your hat 2 Pulling one of your legs back 3 Raising your hand and putting it down (or putting before your chest) 4 (Or even) Making your leg in a circular movement (sweeping) on a floor?

I couldn't look it up or google it up. What kind of bow it is? Thank you.


It's the bow you might see a performer make at the end a stage play or other similar performance, where they bring one arm across their body while swinging their other arm out and away from their body while bending deeply at the hips and keeping their back relatively rigid.

  • 2
    One might even say sweeping their arms . . . May 1 '19 at 9:40

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