What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow opening, notch, or groove, as a keyway in a lock, a slit for a coin in a vending machine, or the space between the blades of an airplane’s propeller. A slot may also refer to:

In computing, a storage location or position on a hard disk, CD, or DVD in which a file is stored. A computer game often offers a number of save slots in which to store the progress of the player’s character.

An area of an aircraft’s wing, or a plane’s fuselage, through which the jet stream passes during flight, allowing air to flow over the wings and maintain a smooth trajectory: We got to the airport on time, but our flight wasn’t in the slot.

The amount of money that can be won in a slot machine, based on the number and type of symbols and their payout values as determined by the pay table. Usually, the more matching symbols that land on a winning combination, the higher the payout. Some slot machines also have bonus features that can be activated by landing certain combinations of symbols.

A slot may also be a position in an organization, such as the job of chief copy editor: He had the slot at the Gazette for 20 years. A slot may also refer to:

The space on a train or bus seat that is reserved for an elderly or disabled person: I was lucky enough to get a seat in the slot, so I didn’t have to stand all the way.

In aviation, the scheduled time and place for an airplane to take off or land, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic control: 40 more slots for new airlines at U.S. airports. In ornithology, a narrow notch or other opening between the tips of the primaries on a bird’s wings, used to help the air flow smoothly over the wing during flight: The pheasants were flying high in the sky, their feathers ruffled by the wind.

An allocated space or position on a computer disk or other storage medium, in which a particular type of object can be stored: The system has three saved slots.

(Australian rules football and rugby union) A space on the ground between the two opposing teams’ goals, allowing one team to kick the ball into the opponent’s goal: The team kicked the ball into the slot and scored a try.

A slot is a space in a machine on which coins or paper tickets with barcodes can be inserted to activate the spinning reels and win credits based on the outcome of the spins: The slots on this car are designed to hold two or more coins. In the case of an automatic teller machine, the slot is used to insert cash or paper banknotes. The banknotes can be folded or rolled to fit into the slots in a special tray. Alternatively, the banknotes can be placed in a clear plastic envelope and deposited through the slot.