Diseases of the respiratory tract are among the leading causes of death in the world population. Increasing evidence points to a key role of the innate immune system with its pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in both infectious and noninfectious lung diseases, which include pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute lung injury, pneumoconioses, and asthma. PRRs are capable of sensing different microbes as well as endogenous molecules that are released after cell damage. This PRR engagement is the prerequisite for the initiation of immune responses to infections and tissue injuries which can be beneficial or detrimental to the host. PRRs include the Toll-like receptors, NOD-like receptors, RIG-I-like receptors, and cytosolic DNA sensors. The PRRs and their signaling pathways represent promising targets for prophylactic and therapeutic interventions in various lung diseases.