Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is the widely used organophosphate pesticide in agriculture throughout the world. It has been found that CPF is relatively safe to human but highly toxic to fish. In this study, acute toxicity of CPF on goldfish was determined and then the transcription of goldfish cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A was evaluated after 96 h of CPF exposure at concentrations of 15.3 [1/10 50% lethal concentration (LC50)] or 51 μg L−1 (1/3 LC50) of CPF. Meanwhile, the enzymatic activities of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT), total antioxidant activity (T-AOC), and the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the liver or brain of goldfish were also determined. The results of acute toxicity testing showed that the 96-h LC50 of CPF to the goldfish was 153 μg L−1. Moreover, a length sequence of 1243 bp CYP3A cDNA encoding for 413 amino acids from goldfish liver was cloned. Polymerase chain reaction results reveal that CPF exposure downregulates CYP 3A transcription in goldfish liver, suggesting that goldfish CYP 3A may be not involved in CPF bioactivation. Finally, the results of biochemical assays indicate that 96 h of CPF exposure remarkably inhibits AChE activity in fish liver or brain, alters hepatic antioxidant enzyme activities, decreases brain T-AOC, and causes lipid peroxidation in fish liver. These results suggest that oxidative stress might be involved in CPF toxicity on goldfish. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 30: 422–429, 2015.