A narrow opening, as a keyway in machinery or the slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: a position in a group, series, or sequence; a spot, place, or opportunity.

To slot means to fit into a space readily or easily. He dropped the coin in the slot and dialled. The car seat belt slotted into place without trouble. The slot on the wing is intended for a control device. It will be a joint with an auxiliary airfoil for a smooth flow of air on the upper surface.

A machine or container in which money is accepted for a specified amount of time or for a specified period of time at regular intervals, usually on a set schedule. The machines are also known as slot machines or fruit machines. They are the primary source of revenue in most casinos. The first modern mechanical slots were invented by Charles Fey in 1899.

In a computerized slot game, the player puts money into the slot and then presses a button to start spinning the reels. When the symbols line up in a winning combination, the player receives credits based on the amount of money he or she bet before hitting the button. The machine may also pay out extra credits if the symbols match a bonus symbol, such as a Wild, or scatter.

An appointment or a position in which to put something, as a file in an envelope or folder. Visitors can book a time slot a week or more in advance.

Sports A portion of an ice hockey rink, used to locate the puck during a face-off. A player can also slot the ball into the slot to score a goal.

Computerized slot machines use microprocessors to determine which symbols appear on each reel and the probability of a winning combination. This is different from the old mechanical machines, which were programmed by hand and only had a fixed number of combinations.

An airport slot is the right to operate at a constrained air traffic system, such as Heathrow or a number of Greek island airports. The use of slots is expected to save money and reduce delays by avoiding the need for unnecessary fuel burn and aircraft movements. It is a central component of EUROCONTROL’s air traffic management strategy. The term is also used for the specific time allocated to a particular airplane by a traffic manager. It is often difficult to find a slot during peak hours, especially in Europe. However, slots are a vital tool to help airlines avoid delay and congestion, and it has been shown that they can be traded for large sums of money. This is due to the fact that the European Union’s airspace is extremely congested, and airlines are willing to pay a premium for slots to avoid crowded runways. In addition, the use of slots has been shown to result in significant cost savings for airlines and their customers.