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Definition: transitive dependency

An indirect relationship between data elements in a database. For example, social security number is a transitive dependency of date-of-birth (SSN->DOB), because it is dependent on name (SSN->NAME), and name is dependent on date-of-birth (NAME->DOB). Contrast with functional dependency.

The Goal Is Eliminate Transitive Dependencies
When designing a database, "third normal form" is achieved by eliminating transitive dependencies in each table. See normalization.