Significance: The evolution of the lungs and circulatory systems in vertebrates ensured the availability of molecular oxygen (O2; dioxygen) for aerobic cellular metabolism of internal organs in large animals. O2 serves as the physiologic terminal acceptor of mitochondrial electron transfer and of the NADPH oxidase (Nox) family of oxidoreductases to generate primarily water and reactive oxygen species (ROS), respectively. Recent advances: The purposeful generation of ROS by Nox family enzymes suggests important roles in normal physiology and adaptation, most notably in host defense against invading pathogens and in cellular signaling. Critical issues: However, there is emerging evidence that, in the context of chronic stress and/or aging, Nox enzymes contribute to the pathogenesis of a number of lung diseases. Future Directions: Here, we review evolving functions of Nox enzymes in normal lung physiology and emerging pathophysiologic roles in lung disease. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 2838-2853. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.