Java JDBC is a java API to connect and execute query with the database. JDBC API uses jdbc drivers to connect with the database.
Before JDBC, ODBC API was the database API to connect and execute query with the database. But, ODBC API uses ODBC driver which is written in C language (i.e. platform dependent and unsecured). That is why Java has defined its own API (JDBC API) that uses JDBC drivers (written in Java language).
API (Application programming interface) is a document that contains description of all the features of a product or software. It represents classes and interfaces that software programs can follow to communicate with each other. An API can be created for applications, libraries, operating systems, etc