A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a machine. Often used as a metaphor for a position or opportunity.

In hockey, the high slot (also called the top shelf) is the best place for a defenseman to take a slap shot, since it gives him the chance to get his stick in front of the puck and redirect it past the goalie. A well-placed one-timer from the high slot can be one of the most impressive moves in a game, as it can travel at over 100 miles per hour and slip by the goalie almost unnoticeably.

Until recently, casino gamblers dropped coins into slot machines to activate games for each spin. But that changed in live casinos when bill validators and credit meters were introduced, and online when slots started accepting advance deposits and credits instead of cash. While the mechanics of slot machines remain much the same, digital technology has opened up many variations in gameplay and video graphics.

In the context of air traffic management, a slot is an authorization to take-off or land at a particular airport at a specified time. It’s a tool used to manage air traffic at extremely busy airports and prevent repeated delays that occur when too many aircraft try to take off or land at the same time. A slot is a specific authorization issued by EUROCONTROL as part of its network management role.