Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a complex gram-negative facultative anaerobe replete with a variety of arsenals to activate, modify, and destroy host defense mechanisms. The microbe is a common cause of nosocomial infections and an antibiotic-resistant priority pathogen. In the lung, P. aeruginosa disrupts upper and lower airway homeostasis by damaging the epithelium and evading innate and adaptive immune responses. The biology of these interactions is essential to understand P. aeruginosa pathogenesis. P. aeruginosa interacts directly with host cells via flagella, pili, lipoproteins, lipopolysaccharides, and the type III secretion system localized in the outer membrane. P. aeruginosa quorum-sensing molecules regulate the release of soluble factors that enhance the spread of infection. These characteristics of P. aeruginosa differentially affect lung epithelial, innate, and adaptive immune cells involved in the production of mediators and the recruitment of additional immune cell subsets. Pathogen interactions with individual host cells and in the context of host acute lung infection are discussed to reveal pathways that may be targeted therapeutically.