Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterized by cartilage degradation and inflammation. Fisetin, a polyphenol extracted from fruits and vegetables, has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects. Our study aimed to investigate the effect of fisetin on OA both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, chondrocytes were pretreated with fisetin alone or fisetin combined with sirtinol (an inhibitor of SIRT1) for 2 h before IL-1β stimulation. Production of NO, PGE2, TNF-α and IL-6 were evaluated by the Griess reaction and ELISAs. The mRNA (COX-2, iNOS, MMP-3, MMP-13, ADAMTS-5, Sox-9, aggrecan and collagen-II) and protein expression (COX-2, iNOS, MMP-3, MMP-13, ADAMTS-5 and SIRT1) were measured by qRT-PCR and Western blot respectively. Immunofluorescence was used to assess the expression of collagen-II and SIRT1. SIRT1 activity was quantified with SIRT1 fluorometric assay kit. The in vivo effect of fisetin was evaluated by gavage in mice OA models induced by destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM). We found that fisetin inhibited IL-1β-induced expression of NO, PGE2, TNF-α, IL-6, COX-2, iNOS, MMP-3, MMP-13, ADAMTS-5. Besides, fisetin remarkably decreased IL-1β-induced degradation of Sox-9, aggrecan and collagen-II. Furthermore, fisetin significantly inhibited IL-1β-induced SIRT1 decrease and inactivation. However, the inhibitory effect of fisetin was obvious abolished by sirtinol, suggesting that fisetin exerts anti-inflammatory effects through activating SIRT1. In vivo, fisetin-treated mice exhibited less cartilage destruction and lower OARSI scores. Moreover, fisetin reduced subchondral bone plate thickness and alleviated synovitis. Taken together, these findings indicate that fisetin may be a potential agent in the treatment of OA.