A 10-week feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effect of dietary curcumin (CC) on growth antioxidant responses, fatty acid composition, and expression of lipid metabolism-related genes of large yellow croaker fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Four diets (lipid level at 18 %) were formulated with different levels of curcumin (0, 0·02, 0·04 and 0·06 %). The best growth performance was found in the 0·04 % curcumin group, with the body and hepatic lipid levels lower than the control group (0 % CC). The content of TAG, total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol was the least in the 0·06 % curcumin group. The lowest malondialdehyde and the highest superoxide dismutase, catalase and total antioxidant capacity were observed in the 0·04 % curcumin group. The 0·04 % curcumin group had higher expression of Δ6fad, elovl5 and elovl4 and showed higher hepatic n-6 and n-3 PUFA. Expression of ppara, cpt1, and aco was significantly increased, while expression of srebp1 and fas was dramatically decreased in curcumin groups compared with the control group. Overall, 0·04 % curcumin supplementation could mitigate the negative effects caused by HFD and promote growth via reducing hepatic lipid deposition, improving antioxidant activity and increasing PUFA of large yellow croaker. To conclude, abnormal hepatic lipid deposition was probably due to increased fatty acid oxidation and reduced de novo synthesis of fatty acids.