A slot is a holder or position for something, especially a piece of hardware (such as a card reader) or a space in which information can be stored. The word is also used for a time or a place reserved or assigned for an event or activity: a slot in the schedule; a slot for the presentation of a paper. The word is also used in computer science for a logical unit of memory or data storage, typically an array or matrix.
In slot machine play, a player inserts cash or, in the case of “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a slot on the machine. The machine then displays symbols on its reels and pays credits based on the odds of hitting a winning combination. Slot games can have a variety of themes and bonus features.
The term slot also refers to a position or a position within a sequence of events, especially in an itinerary: We’re scheduled to be in Las Vegas for the week, but I’m not sure if we’ll have the time to go to the museum or see the show. A slot can also refer to a time period allotted for an aircraft to land or take off from an airport as specified by an air traffic control coordinator: He has the first flight slot of the day at Heathrow. The word is also used in ornithology to describe the narrow opening between the primaries of certain birds, which helps to maintain an even flow of air over their wings during flight: The bird’s slot is open.