What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow opening or groove in something. You may be familiar with the concept from your favorite video games. A slot is where you can put mail through to get to your mailbox. In the past, the term was used only in reference to women. The word now refers to both genders. It originated from the French word slots, which means “little hole.” In some cultures, a slot represents a lucky charm, like a ring or a necklace.


Despite its name, the word slot has no grammatical significance. In fact, a slot can fit any morpheme sequence. It is often used to describe a job opening or assignment. For instance, a copy desk’s slot may be designated for the chief copy editor. An airport’s authorization process may require a coin. A slit in a road is a roadway. A lane on a highway allows a vehicle to turn around at an intersection.

A slot is also used to refer to a job opening. A copy desk can be described as a “slot”, since a chief copy editor has an interior opening there. A “slot” in the newspaper could be a position at the Gazette. A slot in an airplane can also mean an air-traffic authority’s authorization for a flight. If the slots are filled, the airplane can no longer land in that location.