What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow opening or groove on something. For example, in field hockey, the slot is the fourth position on a flying display. The word comes from the Greek root *sleutana, and it is cognate with the German Schloss. In general, a slot is a place, but in sports, it may also refer to a person, a place in a building, or a position on an aircraft wing.


A slot has a specific grammatical function. It can accommodate any morpheme sequence. A slot can be an opening in an interior copy desk, which is usually occupied by the chief copy editor. A slot is also a job opening, as in a chief copy editor’s position in a newspaper. In aviation, a slot allows airplanes to land and take off at an airport. If multiple aircraft use an airport, a crowded terminal will result in multiple delays, and a crowded terminal will affect a plane’s capacity.

A slot is used for a variety of purposes. It is a word that has a specific grammatical function. For example, a slot can describe an interior opening in a copy desk. In a newspaper, a chief copy editor occupies a slot. In the air, a slot is an authorization by an authority to fly a certain flight. If the same airline repeatedly abuses the same slot, it may receive a reduced priority in future slot allocations or be barred from flying altogether.