Adilabad derives its name from the erstwhile ruler of Bijapur, Yusuf Adil Shah.
Adilabad district shares its boundaries with Nizamabad and Karimnagar districts of Telangana to the south and with Nanded, Yavatmal, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts of Maharashtra on the West, North and East respectively. Most of the boundary is designated by the rivers Godavari and Penganga.
Originally Adilabad was not full fledged district but a sub-district named Sirpur-Tandur which was created in A.D. 1872 with Edlabad(Adilabad), Rajura and Sirpur as its consistuents talukas.
In 1905 the status of this sub-district was raised to that of an independent district with head quarters at Adilabad.
Adilabad district also consists of many landscapes like Kuntala waterfalls, Sahyadri mountains, rivers like the Godavari, Penaganga, Pranahitha, etc.
Adilabad was ruled by many dynasties like the Mauryas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Qutub Shahis amd Asaf Jahis.
Adilabad Town is the headquarters of Adilabad district.