Accumulating studies highlight the critical role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the development of various human cancers. Extracellular leucine rich repeat and fibronectin type III domain containing 1-antisense RNA 1 (ELFN1-AS1) was shown to be a newly found lncRNA that abnormally expressed in human tumors. However, till now the specific function of this lncRNA in esophageal cancer (ESCA) remains unknown. In this study, we discovered that higher ELFN1-AS1 expression indicated shorter patient survival in pan-cancer, including ESCA, using online The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) tools. The lncRNA ELFN1-AS1 was significantly up-regulated in ESCA tissues and cell lines when compared with the counterparts. Down-regulation of ELFN1-AS1 restrained cell proliferation, migration, and invasion of ESCA in vitro. In addition, we found that the expression of microRNA-183-3p (miR-183-3p) and ELFN1-AS1 or glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase 1 (GFPT1) were inversely correlated in ESCA. Both ELFN1-AS1 and GFPT1 are direct targets of miR-183-3p in ESCA. The effects of ELFN1-AS1 knockdown on ESCA progression were partially rescued by inhibition of miR-183-3p or over-expression of GFPT1. In summary, the results of this study suggest that the lncRNA ELFN1-AS1 facilitates the progression of ESCA by acting as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to promote GFPT1 expression via sponging miR-183-3p.