miRNAs (microRNAs) are frequently and aberrantly expressed in many cancers. MiR-873 has been revealed to be downregulated in colorectal cancer and glioblastoma. However, its function remains unclear. Here we report that miR-873 is downregulated in breast tumor compared with normal tissue. Enforced expression of miR-873 decreases the transcriptional activity of ER (estrogen receptor)-α but not ERβ through the modulation of ERα phosphorylation in ER-positive breast cancer cells. We also found that miR-873 inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth in nude mice. Reporter gene assays revealed cyclin-dependent kinase 3 (CDK3) as a direct target of miR-873. CDK3 was shown to be overexpressed in breast cancer and phosphorylate ERα at Ser104/116 and Ser118. Furthermore, we found that Mir-873 inhibits ER activity and cell growth via targeting CDK3. Interestingly, miR-873 was observed to be downregulated in tamoxifen-resistant MCF-7/TamR cells, while CDK3 is overexpressed in these cells. More importantly, re-expression of miR-873 reversed tamoxifen resistance in MCF-7/TamR cells. Our data demonstrate that miR-873 is a novel tumor suppressor in ER-positive breast cancer and a potential therapeutic approach for treatment of tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer.