Following the discovery of ceramide as the central signaling and metabolic relay among sphingolipids, studies of its involvement in lung health and pathophysiology have exponentially increased. In this review, we highlight key studies in the context of recent progress in metabolomics and translational research methodologies. Evidence points toward an important role for the ceramide/sphingosine-1-phosphate rheostat in maintaining lung cell survival, vascular barrier function, and proper host response to airway microbial infections. Sphingosine kinase 1 has emerged as an important determinant of sphingosine-1-phosphate lung levels, which, when aberrantly high, contribute to lung fibrosis, maladaptive vascular remodeling, and allergic asthma. New sphingolipid metabolites have been discovered as potential biomarkers of several lung diseases. Although multiple acute and chronic lung pathological conditions involve perturbations in sphingolipid signaling and metabolism, there are specific patterns, unique sphingolipid species, enzymes, metabolites, and receptors, which have emerged that deepen our understanding of lung pathophysiology and inform the development of new therapies for lung diseases.