Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by airflow limitation due to chronic airway inflammation and destruction of the alveolar structure from persistent exposure to oxidative stress. The body has various antioxidant mechanisms for efficiently coping with such oxidative stress. The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)–antioxidant response element (ARE) is a representative system. Dysregulation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway is responsible for the development and promotion of COPD. Furthermore, COPD severity is also closely related to this pathway. There has been a clinical impetus to use Nrf2 for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Therefore, in this work, we systematically reviewed the clinical significance of Nrf2 in COPD patients, and discuss the value of Nrf2 as a potential COPD biomarker.