Metadherin (MTDH) was found to be highly expressed in various squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs); however, meta-analysis evaluating the association of MTDH in SCC has not been performed. The purpose of this study was to explore the biological functions of MTDH in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and to meta-analyze the association between MTDH and SCC. Immunohistochemistry was performed to examine MTDH expression using an ESCC tissue array consisting of 86 ESCC and 78 paired normal adjacent tissues (NATs). MTDH was significantly overexpressed in ESCC tissues compared with NATs and was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis, differentiation, and prognosis. Knockdown of MTDH using an MTDH-short hairpin RNA plasmid caused cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase and induced apoptosis of EC9706 cells. Knockdown of MTDH suppressed the proliferation, invasion, and migration of ESCC cells. Furthermore, meta-analysis revealed that overexpression of MTDH was significantly associated with the lymph node metastasis, advanced clinical stage, and T classification of tissues in SCC, suggesting that MTDH might be used as a potential therapeutic target in the lymph node metastasis of ESCC.