Definitions for hope chest
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a chest or the like used by a young woman for collecting clothing, linens, and other domestic or personal articles in anticipation of marriage.
Origin of hope chest:
hope chest, wedding chest(noun)
chest for storage of clothing (trousseau) and household goods in anticipation of marriage
A box containing items, especially clothing, table linens, towels, bed linens, and quilts, typically stored by unmarried young women in anticipation of future marriages or married lives.