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Numerous articles have reported that abnormal expression levels of microRNAs (miRNAs) are related to the survival times of esophageal carcinoma (EC) patients, which contains esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Nevertheless, there has not been a comprehensive meta-analysis to assess the accurate prognostic value of miRNAs in EC.Studies published in English up to April 12, 2018 that evaluated the correlation of the expression levels of miRNAs with overall survival (OS) in EC were identified by online searches in PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews performed by two independent authors. The pooled hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to estimate the correlation between OS and miRNA expression. HR ≥ 2 was considered cutoff for considering the miRNA as prognostic candidate.Forty-four pertinent articles with 22 miRNAs and 4310 EC patients were ultimately included. EC patients with tissue expression levels of high miR-21 or low miR-133a (HR = 2.48, 95% CI = 1.50–4.12), miR-133b (HR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.27–3.62), miR-138 (HR = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.68–3.08), miR-203 (HR = 2.83, 95% CI = 1.35–5.95), miR-375 and miR-655 (HR = 2.66, 95% CI = 1.16–6.12) had significantly poorer OS (P < 0.05). In addition, EC patients with blood expression levels of high miR-21 (HR = 2.19, 95% CI = 1.31–3.68) and miR-223 had significantly shorter OS (P < 0.05).In conclusion, tissue expression levels of miR-21, miR-133a, miR-133b, miR-138, miR-203, miR-375, and miR-655 and blood expression levels of miR-21 and miR-223 demonstrate significant prognostic value. Among them, the expression levels of miR-133a, miR-133b, miR-138, miR-203, and miR-655 in tissue and the expression level of miR-21 in blood are potential prognostic candidates for predicting OS in EC.