Cervical cancer is a common malignancy of the female reproductive system. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been reported to modulate tumor progression in multiple cancers. The lncRNA antisense noncoding RNA in the INK4 locus (ANRIL) has been identified as an oncogenic molecular target in several tumors; however, the function and underlying mechanism involved in cervical cancer oncogenesis are still unclear. In the present study, RT-PCR showed that ANRIL expression was significantly upregulated in cervical cancer tumors and cell lines. Nevertheless, ANRIL knockdown transfected with interference oligonucleotide inhibited the proliferation activity and invasive ability, and promoted apoptosis of cervical cancer cell lines. The bioinformatics prediction program and luciferase assay predicted and validated that miR-186 directly targeted ANRIL. The expression level of miR-186 was downregulated in cervical cancer tumors and cell lines and was negatively correlated to that of ANRIL. Moreover, rescue experiments showed that miR-186 inhibitor could reverse the suppression of ANRIL knockdown. In summary, our study demonstrated that the ANRIL/miR-186 axis might play a vital role in cervical cancer tumorigenesis.