Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to individual herpes simplex virus (HSV) glycoproteins were tested for ability to inhibit adsorption of radiolabeled HSV type 1 (HSV-1) strain HFEMsyn [HSV-1(HFEM)syn] to HEp-2 cell monolayers. Polyclonal rabbit antibodies specific for glycoprotein D (gD) or gC and three monoclonal mouse antibodies specific for gD-1 or gC-1 most effectively inhibited HSV-1 adsorption. Antibodies of other specificities had less or no inhibitory activity despite demonstrable binding of the antibodies to virions. Nonimmune rabbit immunoglobulin G and Fc fragments partially inhibited adsorption when used at relatively high concentrations. These results suggest involvement of gD, gC, and perhaps gE (the Fc-binding glycoprotein) in adsorption. The monoclonal anti-gD antibodies that were most effective at inhibiting HSV-1 adsorption had only weak neutralizing activity. The most potent anti-gD neutralizing antibodies had little effect on adsorption at concentrations significantly higher than those required for neutralization. This suggests that, although some anti-gD antibodies can neutralize virus by blocking adsorption, a more important mechanism of neutralization by anti-gD antibodies may be interference with a step subsequent to adsorption, possibly penetration.