What is a Slot?

A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as in a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for coins in a vending machine. Also: (by extension) a position within a group, series, or sequence; a berth, cot, or slot in an aircraft or ship. The term may also refer to an assigned time for an airplane or ship to take off or land, as authorized by an air-traffic controller: We’ve got 40 more slots available at U.S. airports.

The narrow notch between the tips of the primaries in some birds that, during flight, helps them to maintain a smooth flow of air over their wings. In ice hockey, a gap near an opposing team’s goal that gives the attacking player a vantage point.

In computer programming, a space on a disk or other storage medium into which data can be inserted and read. (Other uses for the term include a place to store the contents of a file, an open or unoccupied portion of memory, or an area in which to write or draw a graphic image.)

One of the most common mistakes made by casino players is trying to use certain strategies that are based on the assumption that slots will ‘tighten up’ after a period of time or after paying generously (under the belief that they are due to hit soon). These methods are useless, however, because every single spin at a slot is completely random, and previous results have no bearing on future ones.

To be in the right place at the right time. For example, to be in a good position to score a touchdown or a goal in a sports game. Alternatively, to be in the right place at the right time to receive a bonus or a freebie. For example, if you’re playing a slot where you collect tokens and get mini-jackpots when you land certain combinations of symbols, it’s worth looking out for a machine that someone else has abandoned, so that you can swoop in and take their 10th gold ball bonus.

A container for dynamic content on a Web page, controlled by a scenario and filled by a renderer. A slot is usually designed for one type of content, and it’s not recommended to use more than one renderer to fill a slot.

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This is a list of notable words in the English language, organized by category. A word or phrase in boldface indicates that the entry has been featured in Wiktionary’s Dictionary of Computing.