Arterial and venous thromboses are major contributors to coagulation-associated morbidity and mortality. Greater understanding of mechanisms leading to thrombus formation and stability is expected to lead to improved treatment strategies. Factor XIII (FXIII) is a transglutaminase found in plasma and platelets. During thrombosis, activated FXIII cross-links fibrin and promotes thrombus stability. Recent studies have provided new information about FXIII activity during coagulation and its effects on clot composition and function. These findings reveal newly-recognized roles for FXIII in thrombosis. Herein, we review published literature on FXIII biology and effects on fibrin structure and stability, epidemiologic data associating FXIII with thrombosis, and evidence from animal models indicating FXIII has an essential role in determining thrombus stability, composition, and size.