A slot is a narrow opening into which something can be inserted. It is the opposite of a bore, which is a wide hole that accepts a piston rod. A slot can also refer to an assigned position, as in a job, class or meeting time. For example, a visitor might be asked to fill in a specific time slot for an appointment on the day of their visit. The word is derived from the Latin term scala, meaning “wheel” and Latin verb meaning to fit or slide into place.

In football, a slot is an assigned position in an offensive formation. The slot receiver lines up between the tight end or offensive tackle and the outside wide receiver on most plays. Because of where he lines up pre-snap, the Slot receiver typically has to master every type of passing route. Additionally, he is often a little shorter and smaller than other wide receivers, making it even more important for him to have excellent speed and route-running skills.

Historically, slot machines were mechanical, with reels turning after a coin was inserted. These machines paid out winning combinations based on the paytable. They were regulated by state law, which determined the number of paylines and the weight given to each symbol. Today, most slot machines are electronic and use a random number generator (RNG) to determine the outcome of each spin. Nonetheless, some have a physical lever or button that the player presses to activate the machine.

A slot is also the name of a small hole in a computer that allows for the installation of expansion boards. These additional boards can increase the functionality of a computer and allow it to handle more complex programs or graphics.

Slots are also used in the aerospace industry to improve airflow and reduce drag on an airplane’s body. They can be found on wings, tails and fuselages and are usually located in the vicinity of airfoils or other control surfaces. A slot can also be found in a body panel or door to accommodate a key, such as a car door lock or hotel room lock.

Flow management through slots is an important tool for airports to save money on fuel and reduce congestion. Having a well-planned slot system can significantly decrease delays and improve operations. It can also help airlines avoid burning excess fuel unnecessarily, and in the long run, this will lead to major savings for the airline and its customers. Moreover, it can help in improving the safety and reliability of aircraft operations. In the future, more airports are expected to implement flow management through slot allocation in order to improve traffic flows and efficiency. This will also benefit the environment by reducing congestion and unnecessary fuel burn. The use of slots in Europe has already yielded significant benefits, and it is likely that the practice will spread throughout the world.