A narrow opening, usually one through which something may pass or be inserted. Also: a position or place, as in the middle of the copy desk at a newspaper (used in reference to an editor’s slot) and a spot on a train or bus. The latter usage is probably influenced by the fact that electromechanical slots often had tilt switches that could be triggered in case of an unauthorized tilt of the machine; modern machines, however, rarely have such features.
A computer component, such as a hard disk drive or expansion card, that can be added to a system to expand its capacity. Sometimes called bays. The term is also used to denote a site inside a computer where a printed circuit board can be inserted: a motherboard has several slots for installing expansion boards.
An area in front of a goal between the face-off circles on an ice hockey rink, where the players line up to receive passes from the quarterback. In American football, slotbacks typically do not block, but they are used to catch passes from the quarterback and can use the waggle motion before the snap to gain additional yards on each play.
A small amount paid out in order to keep a player seated and betting, especially at a casino. The amount is usually just enough to keep the player interested and betting, but not so much that it will actually result in a payout. This type of slot is often used to promote a casino’s bonus features, although it is not required.