Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is a member of the IL-1 cytokine family, which includes IL-1 and IL-18, and is considered to be important for host defense against nematodes by inducing Th2 cytokine production via the IL-33 receptor. IL-33 receptor is a heterodimer of IL-1 receptor-like 1 (IL-1RL1; also called ST2, T1, Der4, and fit-1) and IL-1 receptor accessory protein (IL-1RAcP). On the other hand, excessive and/or inappropriate production of IL-33 is considered to be involved in the development of various disorders, such as allergic and autoimmune diseases. Unlike IL-1β and IL-18, IL-33 does not seem to be secreted through the activation of inflammasomes in events such as apoptosis. However, IL-33 is localized in the nucleus of cells and is released during tissue injury associated with necrosis. This suggests that it acts as an alarmin, like IL-1α and high-mobility group box chromosomal protein-1 (HMGB-1). This review summarizes current knowledge regarding the roles of IL-33 in the functions of various cell types and the pathogenesis of allergy.