The protective effects of spermine (SPM) and putrescinc (PUT) against paraquat (PQ), a herbicide in agriculture and oxidative stress inducer, were investigated in the leaves of maize. Maize leaves were pretreated to SPM and PUT at concentrations of 0.2 and I mM and treated with PQ afterwards. Pretreatment with I mM of SPM and PUT significantly prevented the losses in chlorophyll and carotenoid levels induced by PQ. Ascorbic acid content in the leaves pretreated with both polyamines was found to be higher than those of the leaves pretreated with water. Also, pretreatment with SPM and PUT was determined to have some effects on the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD). I mM of SPM increased SOD activity, but PUT has no significant effect on SOD activity. On the other hand, POD activity was recorded to increase slightly in response to both concentrations of SPM and I mM of PUT. The results showed that such polyamine pretreated plants may become more tolerant to oxidative stress due to increases in the antioxidative enzymes and antioxidants.