Esophageal cancer (EC) is one of the most lethal malignancies in humans, and multiple miRNAs have been identified to modulate EC progression by targeting different targets. However, the effect and related mechanism of microRNA-33a-5p (miR-33a-5p) on EC development remain elusive. In this study, we explored the clinical value, function, and possible mechanism of miR-33a-5p in EC. We uncovered that miR-33a-5p and DKK1 are involved in the progression of EC. Significantly, the expression levels of miR-33a-5p were reduced and DKK1 levels were elevated in serum and tissues of clinical EC samples and in EC cell lines. The downregulation of miR-33a-5p and DKK1 upregulation were related to high TNM staging and poor differentiation of patients. The area under the curves (AUCs) of miR-33a-5p and DKK1 for the occurrence of EC were 0.914 and 0.900, respectively. Down-regulation of miR-33a-5p or overexpression of DKK1 indicated a worse prognosis. The miR-33a-5p overexpression or DKK1 depletion induced apoptosis and repressed proliferation, migration, and invasion of EC cells. The repression of miR-33a-5p by inhibitor or DKK1 overexpression presented the conversed effects on EC cells. Mechanically, miR-33a-5p suppressed DKK1 expression, and miR-33a-5p targeted DKK1 to affect the biological behavior of EC through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Meanwhile, miR-33a-5p inhibited the tumor growth of EC in vivo. Thus, we concluded that miR-33a-5p inhibited the progression of EC through the DKK1-mediated Wnt/β-catenin pathway. MiR-33a-5p and DKK1 can be used as potential therapeutic targets of EC.