The importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in human malignancies has been well recognized. Here, we report that the expression of microRNA-210 (miR-210) is down-regulated in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and derived cell lines. Marked decreases in the level of miR-210 were observed especially in poorly differentiated carcinomas. We found that miR-210 inhibits cancer cell survival and proliferation by inducing cell death and cell cycle arrest in G(1)/G(0) and G(2)/M. Finally, we identified fibroblast growth factor receptor-like 1 (FGFRL1) as a target of miR-210 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and demonstrated that FGFRL1 accelerates cancer cell proliferation by preventing cell cycle arrest in G(1)/G(0). Taken together, our findings show an important role for miR-210 as a tumor-suppressive microRNA with effects on cancer cell proliferation.