A simple chemical bonding method to synthesize magnetic cellulose-poly(dopamine) (Fe3O4@CMC@PDA) was reported. The adsorption behaviors of resorcinol in aqueous solution on Fe3O4@CMC@PDA were systematically investigated. As the results shown that, with the advantage of high surface area, abundant hydroxyl and amino groups of Fe3O4@CMC@PDA, and the magnetic property of Fe3O4, the resorcinol can be easily and rapidly extracted from the water by magnetic attraction under investigation. The adsorption equilibrium of Fe3O4@CMC@PDA for resorcinol corresponded with Freundlich isotherm, and the novel adsorbent exhibited better resorcinol removal efficiency in solutions with low pH. It was found that the resorcinol adsorption performance of Fe3O4@CMC@PDA strongly depends on their surface charge concentration and specific surface area. These results provide evidences for estimating and optimizing the removal of phenols from the wastewater by using of Fe3O4@CMC@PDA composites in the future.