What Is a Slot?

A slot is the allotted time and place for an aircraft to take off or land as authorized by the airport or air-traffic authority: Airlines must apply for time slots each season, which are usually given on a priority basis to new entrants and unserved routes. See also slat.

A slot machine is a casino game with reels that spin when you press a lever or button (physical or virtual) to activate them. The reels then stop to reveal symbols that match a pay table in order to award credits based on the number of matching symbols. Most slot machines have a theme, with classic symbols including fruit, bells, and stylized lucky sevens. Bonus features vary by machine.

The term “slot” can also refer to a specific position or job, as in the job of chief copy editor: He has the slot at The Gazette.

In football, a slot corner is the defender assigned to cover the slot receiver, who catches passes all over the field. They must be able to play press coverage as well as off-man, which requires speed and athletic ability. Slot corners also must be able to stay in coverage against wide receivers, who are often faster than they are. In computers, the word “slot” can refer to a piece of software or hardware that manages allocation of operations issued by the CPU. This is common in very long instruction word (VLIW) computers, and the concept is more generally called an execute pipeline.