A functional dependency occurs when one attribute in a relation uniquely determines another attribute. This can be written A -> B which would be the same as stating "B is functionally dependent upon A."
For more detail, read What is a Database Dependency?
Also Known As: Database Dependency
In a table listing employee characteristics including Social Security Number (SSN) and name, it can be said that name is functionally dependent upon SSN (or SSN -> name) because an employee's name can be uniquely determined from their SSN. However, the reverse statement (name -> SSN) is not true because more than one employee can have the same name but different SSNs.