α-Naphthoflavone (α-NF) is a synthetic flavonone derivative and is well known as a potent inhibitor of aromatase in a variety of systems. However, its role in lipid metabolism remains far from understood. The aim of current study was to investigate the effects of α-NF on 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes differentiation and the mechanism through which it acts. Treatment of 3T3-L1 cells with α-NF in conjunction with a hormone cocktail resulted in α-NF mediated suppression of adipocyte differentiation in a dose dependent manner. At the molecular level, our findings demonstrated that α-NF inhibited the mid and late phase, but not the early phase of adipogenic markers expression during 3T3-L1 adipogenesis. The phosphorylation of p38 was activated upon adipogenic stimulation, yet was substantially suppressed by α-NF treatment. α-NF also synergistically inhibited expression of the adipogenic marker peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) expression together with p38 selective inhibitor, SB203580. Our study demonstrated for the first time that α-NF is capable of suppressing 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation and that this effect likely occurs through repression of the p38MAPK signaling pathway.