Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. It is urgent to develop new drugs to improve the prognosis of ESCC patients. Here, we found benzydamine, a locally acting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, had potent cytotoxic effect on ESCC cells. Benzydamine could suppress ESCC proliferation in vivo and in vitro. In terms of mechanism, CDK2 was identified as a target of benzydamine by molecular docking, pull-down assay and in vitro kinase assay. Specifically, benzydamine inhibited the growth of ESCC cells by inhibiting CDK2 activity and affecting downstream phosphorylation of MCM2, c-Myc and Rb, resulting in cell cycle arrest. Our study illustrates that benzydamine inhibits the growth of ESCC cells by downregulating the CDK2 pathway.