Dysregulated expression and activity of cathepsin S (CTSS), a lysosomal protease and a member of the cysteine cathepsin protease family, is linked to the pathogenesis of multiple diseases, including a number of conditions affecting the lungs. Extracellular CTSS has potent elastase activity and by processing cytokines and host defense proteins, it also plays a role in the regulation of inflammation. CTSS has also been linked to G-coupled protein receptor activation and possesses an important intracellular role in major histocompatibility complex class II antigen presentation. Modulated CTSS activity is also associated with pulmonary disease comorbidities, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. CTSS is expressed in a wide variety of immune cells and is biologically active at neutral pH. Herein, we review the significance of CTSS signaling in pulmonary diseases and associated comorbidities. We also discuss CTSS as a plausible therapeutic target and describe recent and current clinical trials examining CTSS inhibition as a means for treatment.