mid-15c., "ample, profuse," from Old French frequent, or directly from Latin frequentem (nominative frequens) "often, regular, repeated; in great numbers, crowded, numerous, filled, full, populous," which is of uncertain origin. Watkins says probably from PIE *bhrekw- "to cram together," and compares Greek phrassein "to fence in," Latin farcire "to cram," But Beekes regards the connection to the Greek word as "quite uncertain." Meaning "common, usual" is from 1530s; that of "happening at short intervals, often recurring" is from c. 1600.
common adverbial suffix, forming from adjectives adverbs signifying "in a manner denoted by" the adjective, Middle English, from Old English -lice, from Proto-Germanic *-liko- (cognates: Old Frisian -like, Old Saxon -liko, Dutch -lijk, Old High German -licho, German -lich, Old Norse -liga, Gothic -leiko); see -ly (1). Cognate with lich, and identical with like (adj.).
Weekley notes as "curious" that Germanic uses a word essentially meaning "body" for the adverbial formation, while Romanic uses one meaning "mind" (as in French constamment from Latin constanti mente). The modern English form emerged in late Middle English, probably from influence of Old Norse -liga.