What Is a Slot?

A narrow notch, groove or opening, such as a keyway in machinery or the slit for coins in a vending machine. Also, the position in a group, series or sequence where something is located or occurs, such as “the slot on the right side of the screen” or “the slot in the car seat belt”.

The number or location of a stop on a reel. In a slot machine, this is the position where a symbol will appear after each spin of the reels. Slot machines typically have a fixed number of paylines, but some have additional features such as Wild symbols that can replace other symbols to create winning lines.

In football, a slot receiver is a wide receiver who is typically lined up in the inside part of the formation, directly behind the quarterback. A good slot receiver can catch almost any route in the offense and is very useful in creating mismatches with defensive backs. A slot receiver should be very precise with their route running and have excellent chemistry with the quarterback.

A slot player is usually smaller, stockier and quicker than the other wide receivers on the team. They can often outrun defenders and are very effective on running plays such as sweeps or slants, where they provide blocking for the ball carrier. They can also be a vital blocker in pass protection, picking up blitzes from linebackers and secondary players.

Some teams employ a slot receiver much more than others, and these are some of the best offensive teams in the league. Tyreek Hill, Cole Beasley and Juju Smith-Schuster are all excellent examples of the impact a good slot receiver can have on an NFL offense.

In the context of airport coordination, a slot is an authorization to take-off or land at an airport on a particular day during a specific time period, e.g. a limited number of take-off or landing slots are allocated to each major airport to help manage air traffic congestion and avoid repeated delays caused by too many planes trying to take off at the same time.

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A slot is a small area in the wing or tail surface of an airplane that connects the auxiliary airfoil with the main airfoil to allow for flow separation. Airflow over the auxiliary airfoil passes through this slot, which reduces stalling and improves controllability. The term is derived from the Latin word slittus, meaning “cut.” (Source: Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)