Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease; increasing evidence indicates that the TNF-α polymorphism is associated with progression of this disease. Few studies have focused upon association between TNF-α -238G/A or -863C/A polymorphism and COPD risk. Reported associations have been controversial because of small sample size and varied study design among the different studies. We performed a meta-analysis to assess the correlation of these two polymorphisms in the TNF-α gene with COPD risk. A comprehensive search was conducted to identify all published articles on the association between TNF-α -238G/A or -863C/A polymorphism and COPD risk from different databases. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated, and the heterogeneity and publication bias were assessed. Eight articles with 10 eligible studies met our inclusion criteria; six studies were of the -238G/A polymorphism and the others involved the -863C/A polymorphism.