MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-protein-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate mRNA expression. A large body of evidence has identified important roles for these regulators in cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and metabolism, as well as activation of oncogenic and antioncogenic signals. Aberrant expression of miRNAs has been found in most human malignancies and is strongly associated with tumorigenesis, prediction, diagnosis, progress, treatment and prognosis. Thus, miRNAs may become an intriguing and promising therapeutic target for many diseases, including cancer. In addition, research into miRNAs may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying tumor occurrence, progression and metastasis. This review summarizes the current knowledge of miRNAs, their roles in lung cancer and avenues for future research.