The adjective "common" has the meaning of "shared by". Does the adverb "commonly" have such a meaning?

For example, does the sentence below I created make sense? I am trying to describe that each bulb is supplied with the same voltage of 120 volts.

A voltage of 120 volts is applied commonly to three bulbs.

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  • 1
    I'd say evenly between. But 60+60+60 makes 180 and not 120 unless I understood you wrongly. Dec 5, 2017 at 11:48
  • @SovereignSun Haha, it's 120 volts, not 120 watts. Nothing is being added. 120 volts are applied to each of the 60 watt bulbs.
    – farnsy
    Dec 6, 2017 at 4:27
  • @farnsy Missed that one. Well, say, "A voltage of 120 volts is applied to each of the three bulbs" Dec 6, 2017 at 4:30
  • No dictionary lists this meaning of commonly.
    – Andrew
    Dec 11, 2017 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


A proper example of the word commonly would be:

Lightbulbs commonly burn out after 500 hours of use.

In the example you give, I might use equally as in

A voltage of 120 volts is applied equally to three bulbs.


A voltage of 120 volts is equally applied to three bulbs.

The two sentences mean essentially the same thing.

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