What Is a Slot?


A narrow opening into which something can be inserted: the slot in the door into which you put letters and postcards; the slot on the front of the television set into which you insert the cable; the slot on the back of the computer into which you slide a memory card. Also: the position, job, or time allotted to an event: a visit scheduled for this afternoon; the ten o’clock slot on the school calendar.

In football, a player who lines up between and slightly behind the outer wide receivers on a team’s offense. During passing plays, slot receivers run shorter routes on the route tree, such as slants and quick outs. Because of their size and proximity to the line of scrimmage, they’re at a higher risk for injuries than boundary receivers.

Slot is also a type of casino game. There are many different types of slots, but the most popular are penny, nickel, and quarter slots. Penny and nickel slots offer lower limits and are ideal for people on a budget. Quarter slots are considered more lucrative than nickel and penny slots, but they’re not too expensive or risky.

In aviation, a slot is an allocated, scheduled time and place for an aircraft to take off or land, as authorized by an airport or air-traffic authority. Slots are particularly important in congested areas, where airlines can save money by waiting on the ground rather than flying and burning fuel unnecessarily. Airlines can even trade or sell their slots. One of the highest-profile sales was the $75 million paid for a landing slot at Heathrow in 2016.