The effects of diuron, a photosystem II inhibiting herbicide, on lipid peroxidation, photosynthetic pigments, soluble protein, proline contents and some antioxidant enzymes in maize leaves were studied and protective effects of polyamines against diuron toxicity were investigated. Diuron significantly increased lipid peroxidation, suggesting oxidative damage in the plants and proline content, while it decreased total chlorophyll, carotenoid and soluble protein levels in the leaves during the experiments. Pretreatment with polyamines statistically decreased lipid peroxidation induced by diuron and spermine (SPM) proved to be the most effective polyamine. Also, pretreatment with polyamines significantly prevented the losses of total chlorophyll, carotenoid and soluble protein induced by diuron. On the other hand, pretreatment with polyamines significantly increased proline contents of the leaves in comparison with the leaves treated with diuron. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities increased in the leaves treated with diuron while catalase (CAT) activity decreased. Pretreatment with spermidine (SPD) did not change significantly SOD activity at 24 and 72 hrs of diuron treatment but prevented the increase in SOD activity induced by diuron at 48 h. However, pretreatment with SPD increased GPX activity at 24 h and GR activity at 48 and 72 hrs. CAT activity in the leaves pretreated with SPD was similar to that of the leaves treated with diuron. Pretreatment with SPM prevented the increase in SOD activity induced by diuron at 48 h but significantly increased it at 72 h of diuron treatment. However, pretreatment with SPM did not significantly change GPX and GR activities during the experiments but reversed the decrease in CAT activity induced by diuron at 72 h. Pretreatment with putrescine (PUT) prevented the increase in SOD activity induced by diuron at 48 and 72 hrs while it increased GPX and GR activities at 48 h of diuron treatment. Also, the decrease in CAT activity induced by diuron at 72 h was completely prevented by PUT. It can be concluded that pretreatment of maize leaves with polyamines reduced the damage produced by diuron and the protective effects of polyamines against diuron toxicity were closely associated with antioxidant system.