In the context of a relational database, a row—also called a record or tuple —represents a single, implicitly structured data item in a table. In simple terms, a database table can be thought of as consisting of rows and columns or fields.

Example of row in Microsoft Excel

Columns might represent things like population, Seats US Hours, Population per House seat, and so on. Each row in a table represents a set of related data, and every row in the table has the same structure. For example, in a table that represents states, each row would represent a single state.

In less formal usage, e.g. for a database that is not formally relational, a record is equivalent to a row as described above, but is not usually referred to as a row. The implicit structure of a row, and the meaning of the data values in a row, requires that the row be understood as providing a succession of data values, one in each column of the table.

The row is then interpreted as a relvar composed of a set of tuples, with each tuple consisting of two items: the name of the relevant column and the value this row provides for that column. Each column expects a data value of a particular type.