A narrow opening into which something can fit, such as a slit for a coin in a slot machine or the space left when you slide a postcard through the mailbox. Also: a position or time in which something can take place: The doctor’s appointment was scheduled for 2 p.m., but it got pushed back to 3 p.m. because the office was running late.
In computer networking, a socket is the point at which an application can connect to a host, such as a computer server or another machine on the network. A socket address is unique to each host, and can be derived from the host’s IP address or by examining the host’s network configuration file. A socket can also be a point at which data is transferred from the application to the host.
Sports A player on a football team who lines up close to the line of scrimmage, or in an area that is important for sweep plays and slant routes. A slot receiver is usually closer to the defense than other wide receivers and more likely to be targeted by opposing teams.
In an airplane, the term slot refers to any of several air gaps between the wing and the tail surface or between the main body and an auxiliary airfoil. These air gaps help smooth the flow of air over the wings and tail surfaces, reducing drag and allowing for greater efficiency.
A position in a group, series, sequence or hierarchy, especially the location of an employee within an organization. In a business, it can be the rank of the person to whom an assignment is given or the place within a department where someone works. It can also refer to the yearly rotation of staff in a school, or to the time period in which an activity takes place.
Pay tables are the informational documents that provide players with the odds and payouts for all of the regular symbols in a slot game. They also list how and where the symbols need to land in order to trigger any bonus features. On older machines, the pay table is listed on the face of the machine above and below the wheel area. On video slots, they are displayed when the player presses a “pay table” or “info” button, or they may be found in the help menu.
The word slot is derived from the Middle Low German slit or Dutch sleutel, both of which are ultimately derived from Proto-Germanic *slutila (source also of Old Frisian slutil, Old High German sluzil and German Schloss “bolt, bar, lock, door”), which in turn is probably related to PIE root *klau- “to shut, fasten.” The earliest use in English was probably in reference to the narrow opening in a door or window, with the notion of a place in which it could be locked or fastened being added later. From there, it became a generic name for any type of small opening in a larger object.