The simple definition of glove box - storage space allocated inside the dashboard with a lid.
The glove box or glove compartment is part of the dashboard. It is a storage area provided just above the front passenger's footwell. It is used to store maps, books and other small articles. Manufacturers have introduced cooling vents inside the glove box to make it suitable to contain perishable items. Dual glove boxes, one above the other, have also started appearing on certain cars like the Honda CR-V.
The lid of the glove box serves the purpose of hosting cup holders. The glovebox lid can also consist of a jacket to hold papers. In some glove boxes, a light provided inside helps sort things in the dark.
Glove box volume has grown to a considerable extent. Modern glove boxes can take in a laptop. There can also be a compartment inside the glove box to carry maps or vehicle documents. It can also act as a dust-proof environment for the USB port, which is a regular feature in today's cars.
The origin of the word is debatable, but the most logical explanation is the compartment was designed to store gloves used by the driver in the olden days to protect his fingers from the rushing cold air. Another derivative is the usage of gloves by the coachman of the horse-drawn carriage to prevent injury from the rough rope that controlled the animal.