## functional dependency

<*database*>

Given a relation R (in a relational database), attribute Y of R is functionally dependent on attribute X of R and X of R functionally determines Y of R (in symbols R.X -> R.Y) if and only if each X in R has associated with it precisely one Y in R (at any one time). Attributes X and Y may be composite.

This is very close to a function in the mathematical sense.

Last updated: 1997-09-01

### Nearby terms:

functional database ♦ **functional dependency** ♦ functionality ♦ functional language

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