A narrow notch, groove, or opening, as a keyway in machinery or a slit for a coin in a vending machine. Also: A position in a group, series, or sequence.

a slot in a film (or television) character – or a position in a group of characters – that allows someone to perform a particular function. The word is also used to describe a certain way of completing a task or job: to “slot” something in means to place it into its proper position, and to “slot” someone in means to assign them to that particular task.

In computer graphics, a slot is a position that can hold one or more bitmaps. The dimensions of a slot are set in an object’s corresponding slot table, which is either computed automatically or selected by the user through an action or targeter. Slots can be passive or active, and they can contain content dictated by the scenario using the Add Items to Slot action or by a targeter.

The first electronic slot machines, which began appearing in casinos in the 1960s, used electromechanical technology to count the number of times a symbol came up on each reel. The result was a limited number of combinations and jackpot sizes. However, manufacturers quickly incorporated electronics into these machines and programmed them to weight certain symbols more than others, making the chances of losing symbols appearing on a pay line disproportionate to their frequency on a physical reel.

Another type of slot is the virtual reel, which replaces the physical spinning reel in a video game. This type of slot usually offers a larger number of possible wins and can include multiple bonus levels and other features. Many people enjoy playing virtual slots because they are faster and easier to play than traditional slot machines.

A third type of slot is the multi-game, which offers players a variety of different types of games. These may be based on cards or dice, and can often include features such as free spins and progressive jackpot levels. Multi-game slots are particularly popular with people who like to try their luck at various games without having to leave the comfort of home.

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘slot.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of its parent company, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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