Adipocyte differentiation is strongly associated with obesity, which causes metabolic disorders. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of widdrol on 3T3- L1 preadipocyte growth and differentiation. Widdrol decreased lipid droplet accumulation and down-regulated adipogenic transcription factors such as C/EBPalpha, C/EBPbeta, and PPARgamma. Widdrol blocked preadipocyte proliferation and differentiation through the inhibition of mitotic clonal expansion, which was accompanied by the failure of degradation of p21, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Cell-cycle analysis clearly indicated that widdrol actively induces cell-cycle arrest at the G1-S phage transition, causing cells to remain in the preadipocyte state. Moreover, widdrol increased p21 expression and inhibited Rb phosphorylation in preadipocyte incubated in a hormone medium. Therefore, these findings clearly suggest that widdrol blocks preadipocyte growth and differentiation through the inhibition of mitotic clonal expansion by p21- and Rb-dependent G1 arrest and can be developed as a potent anti-adipogenic agent for reducing obesity.