AbstractCellulose nano-whiskers were used to enhance the performance of soybean meal-based adhesive. Soybean meal flour, cellulose nano-whiskers (CNW), sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and polyethylene glycol (PEG) were used to develop different adhesive formulations. The effect of adhesive components on water resistance of the adhesive was measured on the three-ply plywood (three cycle soak test). The viscosity and solid content of the adhesive were measured. The cross section of the cured adhesives was evaluated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effect of the hot press parameters on the water resistance of the plywood bonded by soybean meal/CNW/NaOH/PEG adhesive was investigated. The results showed that using the CNW in the adhesive formulation improved the water resistance of the plywood by 20%. The plywood bonded by the soybean meal/CNW/NaOH/PEG adhesive met the interior plywood requirement (2000 (ANSI/HPVA HP-1)). Fewer holes and cracks, as well as a smooth surface were observed on the cross section of the cured adhesive after the incorporation of CNW. In the hot press process, the water resistance of the plywood bonded by the soybean meal/CNW/NaOH/PEG adhesive increased as the hot press temperature and time increased.