OBJECTIVE The adiponectin gene (ADIPOQ) has been suggested to be associated with the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the results have been inconsistent. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis to investigate the association between adiponectin polymorphisms and CRC risk. METHODS All eligible case-control studies published up to March 2013 were identified by searching PubMed, Web of Science and CNKI. Effect sizes of odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) were calculated by using a fixed- or random-effect model. RESULTS A total of 9 case-control studies were included, Of those studies, there were eight studies (2024 cases and 2777 controls) for rs1501299G/T polymorphism, five studies (1401 cases and 1691 controls) for rs2241766T/G polymorphism, five studies (2945 cases and 3361 controls) for rs266729C/G polymorphism, three studies (1221 cases and 1579 controls) for rs822395A/C polymorphism and three studies (1222 cases and 1575 controls) for rs822396A/G polymorphism. Overall, a significant association was observed for rs2241766T/G polymorphism under heterozygote comparison (TG vs. TT: OR=1.22, 95%CI: 1.05-1.43); while there was no significant association for rs2241766 polymorphism under other genetic models, and for other four polymorphisms under all genetic models. Besides, when stratified analyses by ethnicity, no significant association between five polymorphisms and CRC risk were observed under all genetic models among Asian, Caucasian and African-American. CONCLUSIONS This meta-analysis indicated that adiponectin rs2241766T/G rather than rs1501299G/T, rs266729C/G, rs822395A/C and rs822396A/G polymorphism was associated with the risk of colorectal cancer.