The present study deals with removal of 4-chloro-2-nitrophenol (4C2NP) as a model contaminant from pharmaceutical and pesticide industries using titanium dioxide nanoparticles as an adsorbent. 4C2NP is recalcitrant and persistent toward biodegradation and its generation in aqueous environment during formulation, distribution and field application of pesticides is often unavoidable. Batch experiments were carried out to investigate the effect of contact time, nano-titanium dioxide dosage, initial pH, initial 4C2NP concentration and temperature on adsorption efficiency. The results showed that the adsorption capacity was increased with increasing 4C2NP concentration and temperature. Optimum conditions for 4C2NP adsorption were found to be initial pH ≈ 2, nano-titanium dioxide dosage ≈ 0.01 g/250 mL and equilibrium time ≈ 1 h. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles recorded a maximum capacity of 86.3 mg/g at optimal conditions. The linear correlation coefficients of Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin isotherms were obtained. The results revealed that the Freundlich isotherm fitted the experimental data better than the other isotherm models.