BACKGROUND Gastric cancer is one of the frequently seen cancers in the world and it is the second most common reason for death due to cancer. The prognostic role of expression of p53 detected by immunohistochemistry in gastric cancer remains controversial. This meta-analysis aimed to explore any association between overexpression and survival outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS We systematically searched for studies investigating the relationships between expression of p53 detected by immunohistochemistry and prognosis of gastric cancer patients. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. After careful review, survival data were extracted from eligible studies. A meta-analysis was performed to generate combined hazard ratios for overall survival and disease-free survival. RESULTS A total of 4.330 patients from 21 studies were included in the analysis. Our results showed tissue p53 overexpression in patients with gastric cancer to be associated with poor prognosis in terms of overall survival (HR, 1.610; 95% CI, 1.394 -5.235; p: <0.001). Pooled hazard ratio for disease free survival showed that p53 positivity or negativity were not statitistically significant (HR, 1.219; 95%CI, 0.782-1.899; p:0.382). CONCLUSIONS The present meta-analysis indicated overexpression of p53 detected by immunohistochemistry to be associated with a poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer.