From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- The fruit forbidden to Adam.
- (Idiom) Illicit pleasure; something that one should not take or get involved with, such as an another person's spouse.
The term "forbidden fruit" is a popular metaphor that describes any object of desire whose appeal is a direct result of the knowledge that cannot or should not be obtained or something that someone may want but cannot have. The phrase refers to the Book of Genesis, where it is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. As a result of eating this fruit, Adam and Eve lost their innocence, began to know good and evil, and were exiled from the garden where they were forced to adopt agriculture under less than desirable circumstances for a living. The concept of "knowing" good and evil can be best understood as being emotionally entangled with the struggle of determining the difference.
The term most generally refers to any indulgence or pleasure that is considered illegal or immoral and potentially dangerous or harmful, particularly relating to such things as human sexuality (underage, extramarital, or otherwise), recreational drug use, and underage alcoholic beverage consumption.