- ampleFowler (1926) wrote that ample was ‘legitimate only with nouns denoting immaterial or abstract things’ such as opportunity, praise, provision, and time. He did not accept that it could be properly used in attributive position before nouns like butter, coal, oil, and water that denote substances of indefinite quantity, although it was acceptable to place it predicatively with such words, as in The coal is ample. The logic was uncharacteristically opaque, and the argument untenable. Although ample is still most often used with words such as evidence, opportunity, proof, provision, reason, room, scope, time, warning, etc., there is ample evidence of its use with material substances, and among the words it most frequently modifies are breast, bosom, and cleavage. Other examples:
• It was also to be a station for the motor-car age, situated on ample land with large car-parks —J. Richards et al., 1988
• The River Lea forming the eastern boundary of the metropolis provided good communication, ample supplies of water, and motive power for the mills —J. Marriott, 1991
• A leaf has ample stores of chlorophyll —chemistry website, AmE 2004 [OEC].
Modern English usage. 2014.