Among the many initiating events that lead to apoptosis or programmed cell death, loss of contact between the cell and the extracellular matrix has been extensively studied. Adhesion-related apoptosis referred to as anoikis is initiated by the action of anti-adhesive substances. Nitric oxide is one of these anti-adhesive substances that have the capacity to signal and trigger pro-apoptotic events in a variety of cell types. Nitric oxide can inhibit cell adhesion, interfere with the assembly of focal adhesion complexes, and disrupt the cell-extracellular matrix interactions. These actions occur in cell that exhibit a dissociation of growth factor signals from alterations in the cytoskeleton, ultimately leading to apoptosis. Since this involves anti-adhesive events, nitric oxide can be considered as causing anoikis. This review article summarizes the available evidence of how nitric oxide participates in apoptosis induced by loss of anchorage (anoikis).