Actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) is a small class of actin-binding proteins that regulates the dynamics of actin in cells. Moreover, it is well known that the plant ADF family plays key roles in growth, development and defense-related functions. Results: Thirteen maize (Zea mays L., ZmADFs) ADF genes were identified using Hidden Markov Model. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the 36 identified ADF genes in Physcomitrella patens, Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa japonica, and Zea mays were clustered into five groups. Four pairs of segmental genes were found in the maize ADF gene family. The tissue-specific expression of ZmADFs and OsADFs was analyzed using microarray data obtained from the Maize and Rice eFP Browsers. Five ZmADFs (ZmADF1/2/7/12/13) from group V exhibited specifically high expression in tassel, pollen, and anther. The expression patterns of 13 ZmADFs in seedlings under five abiotic stresses were analyzed using qRT-PCR, and we found that the ADFs mainly responded to heat, salt, drought, and ABA. Conclusions: In our study, we identified ADF genes in maize and analyzed the gene structure and phylogenetic relationships. The results of expression analysis demonstrated that the expression level of ADF genes was diverse in various tissues and different stimuli, including abiotic and phytohormone stresses, indicating their different roles in plant growth, development, and response to external stimulus. This report extends our knowledge to understand the function of ADF genes in maize.