(especially formerly) a chest or the like in which a young woman collected clothing, linens, and other articles in anticipation of marriage.
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Origin of hope chest
First recorded in 1910–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for hope chest
Why, any girl would be glad to start a hope-chest with this, laughed Ruth.Polly and Her Friends Abroad|Lillian Elizabeth Roy
British Dictionary definitions for hope chest
US and Canadian a young woman's collection of clothes, linen, cutlery, etc, in anticipation of marriageAlso called (esp in Britain): bottom drawer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012