In eukaryotic cells, the balance between the synthesis and the degradation decides the steady-state levels of messenger RNAs (mRNA). The removal of adenosine residues from the poly(A) tail, called deadenylation, is the first and the most crucial step in the process of mRNA degradation. Poly (A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN) is one such enzyme that catalyses the process of deadenylation. Although PARN has been primarily known as the regulator of the mRNA stability, recent evidence clearly suggests several other functions of PARN, including a role in embryogenesis, oocyte maturation, cell-cycle progression, telomere biology, non-coding RNA maturation and ribosome biogenesis. Also, deregulated PARN activity is shown to be a hallmark of specific disease conditions. Pathogenic variants in the PARN gene have been observed in various cancers and inherited bone marrow failure syndromes. The focus in this review is to highlight the emerging functions of PARN, particularly in the context of human diseases.