am·​ple ˈam-pəl How to pronounce ample (audio)
: generous or more than adequate in size, scope, or capacity
There was room for an ample garden.
: generously sufficient to satisfy a requirement or need
They had ample money for the trip.
: buxom, portly
an ample figure
ampleness noun
amply adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for ample

spacious, commodious, capacious, ample mean larger in extent or capacity than the average.

spacious implies great length and breadth.

a spacious front lawn

commodious stresses roominess and comfortableness.

a commodious and airy penthouse apartment

capacious stresses the ability to hold, contain, or retain more than the average.

a capacious suitcase

ample implies having a greater size, expanse, or amount than that deemed adequate.

ample closet space

plentiful, ample, abundant, copious mean more than sufficient without being excessive.

plentiful implies a great or rich supply.

peaches are plentiful this summer

ample implies a generous sufficiency to satisfy a particular requirement.

ample food to last the winter

abundant suggests an even greater or richer supply than does plentiful.

streams abundant with fish

copious stresses largeness of supply rather than fullness or richness.

copious examples of bureaucratic waste

Examples of ample in a Sentence

They had ample money for the trip. The police found ample evidence of wrongdoing. There is ample parking at the stadium. You will have ample opportunity to finish the test. The light in the room is more than ample. There was room for an ample garden. an ample serving of pie
Recent Examples on the Web Managers believe there is an ample margin in the helium system to handle the several hours of flight time from undocking until Starliner jettisons its service module just before reentry. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 11 July 2024 Sporting and working dogs, such as Doberman pinschers, need ample activity and exercise daily. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 11 July 2024 Ukrainian officials have complained that the pace has given Russia ample time to target civilian infrastructure unopposed. Alex Horton, Washington Post, 10 July 2024 With a beam of nearly 37 feet and an interior volume of 1,300 GT, Hype-R offers ample space for relaxing and entertaining onboard. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 10 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for ample 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ample.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, "abundant," borrowed from Anglo-French, "wide, extensive, great," going back to Latin amplus "more than adequate in size or extent, great, having wide scope (of the mind or other abstract entities)," of uncertain origin

Note: M. de Vaan (Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages, Brill, 2008) sees amplus going back to *am-lo-, a derivative of a verb base *am- going back to Indo-European *h2emh3- "take hold of" (see amateur). Semantically this hypothesis works well, though it requires that the more likely form *am-a-lo- would have undergone early syncope. The word ampla, supposedly meaning "handle," would be corroboration; however, attestations for ampla are post-classical, excepting an apparent metaphorical employment in the sense "opportunity" by Cicero.

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ample was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near ample

Cite this Entry

“Ample.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


am·​ple ˈam-pəl How to pronounce ample (audio)
ampler -p(ə-)lər How to pronounce ample (audio) ; amplest -p(ə-)ləst How to pronounce ample (audio)
: generous in size, scope, or capacity : copious
ample room for a garden
: enough to satisfy a need
ample money for the trip
ampleness noun
amply adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on ample

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