Adsorption potential of metal oxide (lanthanum, magnesium and manganese) incorporated bentonite clay was investigated for defluoridation of drinking water using batch equilibrium experiments to gain insight of adsorption behavior, kinetics and mechanisms of adsorption of fluoride ion. The effect of various physicochemical parameters such as pH, adsorbent dose, initial fluoride concentration and the presence of interfering co-ions on adsorption of fluoride has been investigated. The 10%La-bentonite shows higher fluoride uptake capacity for defluoridation of drinking water as compared to Mg-bentonite, Mn-bentonite and bare bentonite clay. The uptake of fluoride in acidic pH was higher as compared to alkaline pH. The equilibrium adsorption data fitted reasonably well in both Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. It was also observed that in the presence of certain co-existing ions can have positive effect on removal of fluoride, while carbonate and bicarbonate anions show deleterious effect. The rate of adsorption was reasonably rapid and maximum fluoride uptake was attained within 30 min. The modified adsorbent material shows better fluoride removal properties for actual field water, which could be due to the positive effect of other co-ions present in the field water.