What is a Slot?

Having checked in on time, cleared security, found your gate and struggled with the overhead lockers you’re finally on the plane and ready to fly. But, as you settle back into your seat you hear the captain say, “We’re waiting for a slot.”

The term ‘slot’ is an abstract concept that doesn’t have any physical presence, but can be described in terms of the time in which something can take place. For example, a meeting that is scheduled to occur at 1:00 will have the time slot of 1:15. This article aims to explain the origin and evolution of the word ‘slot’, and its meaning in contemporary English.

In a slot machine, the pay table tells players how much they can win for each combination of symbols on the reels. This information is typically displayed on the machine itself, but it can also be accessed from the menu screen. Some video slots even include a pay table feature with multiple variations of winning sequences.

In Web development, a slot is a dynamic placeholder that either waits for content to be inserted (passive slot) or calls out to a renderer to populate the slot with its contents. A slot’s contents can be populated by using either an add item to slot action or a targeter that references the content repository. The values of the slot’s attributes are configured in a Slot Definition XML file. These XML files specify the attributes SlotName, SlotType, Applicable and BitmapName.