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In the context of relational databases, a tuple is one record (one row). The information in a database can be thought of as a spreadsheet, with columns (known as fields or attributes) representing different categories of information, and tuples (rows) representing all the information from each field associated with a single record.
In a relational database, a tuple contains all the data for an individual record. For example, in a database containing client contact information, the fields may be categories such as name, phone number, email address and mailing address, while a tuple for that database could be:
|Bill Gates||206-555-1234||[email protected]||PO Box 123, Seattle, WA 98100|
In mathematics, a tuple is an ordered list of elements. Related to this is an n-tuple, which in set theory is a collection (sequence) of "n" elements. Given this, it might be more properly said that tuples are implemented as records even though the terms are commonly used interchangeably.