What Is a Slot?

The slit or narrow opening, usually in a door or wall, into which something can be inserted. The term also may refer to a position or assignment, such as a job, in an organization or hierarchy.

A device that accepts coins or paper tickets with a barcode and records the amount of money wagered by a player, including any special features that may be activated. A slot machine can be a reel or video machine, and it may have multiple paylines or a jackpot. Some slots have special symbols that act as Wilds and increase a gambler’s chances of winning.

In computer programming, a space in memory or on a disk that can be used to store a particular type of object. For example, a program might have four save slots, each of which can hold a different version of an executable.

An area of airspace in an airplane, particularly in the wing or tail surface, used in connection with a high-lift or control device, such as a flap or an aileron. Also, the gap between a wing and its auxiliary airfoil in which air flows, allowing for a smooth flow over the upper surface of the wing.

The position in a group, series, or sequence of events that corresponds to a particular point in time. It is sometimes referred to as a “time slot” because it defines the duration of a process or activity and can be used to describe a specific period within a larger whole.

In aviation, the term slot is often used to describe a runway or airport capacity constraint that prevents an airline from taking off at the scheduled time. Airlines may purchase airport slots, which give them permission to fly at particular times, or they may wait for a slot to open up before flying. This is often necessary when an airport is constrained by runway throughput or available parking spaces, and it can result in long delays and significant fuel burn.

When a gambling machine is in a service mode, it will display a message that indicates the player should press the service button to call over a slot attendant. The slot attendant will then temporarily lock the machine, so that it cannot be played until the player inserts a valid service card. This temporary lockout can last for up to 10-15 minutes, depending on the casino.

The slit or narrow opening, usually on a door or wall, into which something such as a key or a coin can be inserted. The term is also often applied to a position or assignment in an organization or hierarchy, such as a job or a place on a team. It can also refer to the position of a player on an ice hockey team, specifically the rectangular area in front of the net between the face-off circles. The word is also a verb, meaning to fit or put something into a slot. Examples of the use of this verb include, “He slotted a fresh filter into the machine.” (from American Heritage Dictionary)

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