at a time
- In a single, continuous period of time.
He manages to abstain from smoking for weeks at a time, but then gives in and starts again.
- Simultaneously at each occurrence (of some action).
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
- The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. […] Their example was followed by others at a time when the master of Mohair was superintending in person the docking of some two-year-olds, and equally invisible.
climb stairs two at a time
- (in a single, continuous period of time): in a row
- (simultaneously at each occurrence): at once, at one time, at the same time, collectively, en masse, in a group, jointly, simultaneously, together
- (simultaneously at each occurrence): individually, one at a time, piecemeal, separately, severally, singly
in a continuous period