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Is there a synonym of at a time? For example,

Only four controllers can be connected at a time.

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simultaneously? – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 28 '12 at 19:14
"at once" could also be used. – Mark Beadles Feb 28 '12 at 20:37
@benregn I'd be interested in your thoughts on my answer and the comment on it. – ErikE Mar 1 '12 at 23:07
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Simultaneously and contemporaneously and are both viable options.

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Yes, but I would have put them the other way around - contemporaneously is very definitely "second choice" for almost all contexts. – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '12 at 19:44
@FumbleFingers I wanted to put contemporaneously first because I actually dug that one up. – user11550 Feb 28 '12 at 19:46
You must do as you please, but by convention reference sources (and by implication, ELU) normally put the most relevant information first. There are lots of non-native speakers here - they'll naturally assume the first word is first choice, and some of them may thereby "learn" things they really didn't want to know. – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '12 at 19:58
@FumbleFingers That makes sense, I'll edit. – user11550 Feb 28 '12 at 19:59
haha - I would upvote you again for that, if the system allowed me! – FumbleFingers Feb 28 '12 at 20:05

Concurrently would also be acceptable.

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If you type in "at the same time" at the onelook.com reverse-dictionary, you may find the first seven entries (1. synchronize; 2. synchronous; 3. contemporary; 4. simultaneous; 5. concurrent; 6. contemporaneous; 7. coeval) relevant. Most of the higher-numbered entries that seem relevant are adjectival or adverbial forms redundant with those, except for 17. coincidental and 32. coexistent. Some obscure or less-relevant terms are 47. abreast; 52. monochronic; 94. tautochronous; 108. isochronous; 118. commorient (dying at the same time); 138. coextensive; 144. coetaneous; 150. connascent (born at the same time); 182. synchronoptic (seen at the same time by one person).

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+1 Excellent find; perfect reference. Need to post this on meta for the benefit of all those who ask 'What is a general reference question?' – Kris Feb 29 '12 at 6:17
@Kris, I agree that the reverse-dictionary makes the current question practically general reference. By the way, reverse-dictionary only ranks as answer #12 for question 1482 - vote it up :). – jwpat7 Feb 29 '12 at 7:33
Thanks, voted up the answer and the great question itself. – Kris Mar 1 '12 at 10:25
  • at once
  • together
  • or nothing: "Only four controllers can be connected." It's not World of Warcraft where the port becomes soul-bound (controller-bound) and can never have a different controller connected there ever again.
  • or rephrase: "The device supports four controllers." No further elaboration is needed.
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The last option is not valid. It does need elaboration or could mean '...but not all at the same time.' – Kris Feb 29 '12 at 6:18
First, the OP gave no context to be able to understand the larger meaning. So within the given parameters, I think it's a great suggestion. Second, what in the world are you talking about? Name one example of something that accepts four controllers "but not all at the same time." My examples are: The car can take 4 tires. The toaster can toast 4 pieces of bread. The USB port can accept 4 devices. Looking forward to it. – ErikE Feb 29 '12 at 7:22
My car has 2 electronic keys, it recognized who is driving by the key that is inserted- It accepts 2 keys, but not at the same time. – Jim Feb 29 '12 at 7:40
@jim But those are named instances. It's not that it accepts any 2 keys; there ARE only two, and just one keyhole. I am sure "4 controllers" is not definite like keys. The very point I made in my post. Try again? – ErikE Feb 29 '12 at 16:59
Actually I tried to make my example one of specific instances and not just any two because if it accepts any controller then you cannot justify specifying a limit of 4. Consider the copy machine we had at my first job- The copy machine required a counter module to be inserted before it could be used. Each department had its own. Only modules with the correct encoding would work- i.e., you couldn't bring in a counterfeit module and make copies. Given that we had 4 depts, it could be said there were only 4 modules the machine would accept and they could only be used one at a time. – Jim Feb 29 '12 at 17:41

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