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Much like Wheel of Fortune (which debuted at around the same time), Definition was a game show based on Hangman, where two teams of a celebrity and civilian player competed to solve such a puzzle. Both teams alternated guessing letters that were in a puzzle on a board (accompanied by a crossword-style hint), one team member had to guess a letter which wasn't in the puzzle, after which their teammate guessed a letter that was. Successful guesses earned chances to solve, and the first to win a best-two-out-of-three became champion and played a bonus round.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Bonus Round: One more puzzle, the letters are revealed in alphabetical order. Win $10 multiplied by the number of unrevealed letters and a prize if solved.
- Consolation Prize: For losing the Bonus Round, you get just $10. No, that's not a typo, Ten bucks.
- Home Game: One was issued by Milton Bradley in 1981, recycling parts from their 1975 Wheel Of Fortune games. Interestingly, the box art predates the change to all-civilians.
- Home Participation Sweepstakes: Later in the run, puzzles could also be sent in by viewers.
- Undesirable Prize: Just about everything, given how cheap the show was.
This show provides examples of:
- Ascended Extra: Jim Perry was promoted from announcer to emcee at the beginning of Season 2.
- Hurricane of Puns: A lot of the clues were like this.
- Long Runner: Fifteen years, making it one of Canada's longest-running game shows.
- No Budget: The show was ridiculed by outsiders for how cheap the prizes were. Seriously, the consolation prize for losing the Bonus Round was $10. Only if you made it to the yearly Tournament Of Champions could you have an opportunity to win something half-decent, such as a car or trip.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Soul Bossa Nova" by Quincy Jones (this wasn't the only Quincy Jones song to be a theme for a word game, though!). The show's popularity led to the song almost instantly being associated with Definition ... until a Canadian named Mike Myers thought it'd make a good theme for his new movie franchise.
- In tribute to the show, "Soul Bossa Nova" got a Sampled Up hip-hop version, "My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style", from a Canadian group. This song became Ascended Fanon in a promo celebrating CTV Toronto's 50th anniversary, where it was used for a scene featuring clips from the show.
- Suspiciously Similar Song: Sometime between November 23, 1979 and September 9, 1985, "Soul Bossa Nova" was replaced by a soundalike tune.
- Trans Atlantic Equivalent: A British version ran on ITV from 1978-86, hosted by Don Moss and Jeremy Beadle.