An indirect relationship between data elements in a database. The rule is essentially that A is a transitive dependency of C (A->C) if A is functionally dependent on B (A->B), and B is functionally dependent on C (B->C) but not on A (B not->A). For Example Social security number is a transitive dependency of date-of-birth (SSN->DOB), because social security number is dependent on employee name (SSN->EMP), and employee name is dependent on date-of-birth (EMP->DOB) but not on social security number (there may be more than one John Smith or Maria Gomez). See functional dependency. Eliminate Transitive Dependencies When designing a database, the goal is to achieve "third normal form" by eliminating transitive dependencies in each table. See normalization.