Chemotherapy is the preferred treatment for advanced ovarian cancer, but the 5-year survival rate remains low partly because of the development of drug resistance. Although it has been reported that X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) causes more severe chemoresistance in ovarian cancer cells and is highly expressed in chemoresistant ovarian cancer, the molecular mechanism underlying this dysregulation is unknown. The purpose of this study was to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) that bind to the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of XIAP and have a role in chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. Using in silico analysis and literature review, a panel of miRNAs dysregulated in chemoresistant ovarian cancer was generated from hundreds of miRNAs that were predicted to target the XIAP 3'UTR. Using a dual luciferase reporter assay and cellular co-transfection of a miRNA expression vector and a luciferase reporter fused to the XIAP 3'UTR cognate miRNA binding site, we identified three miRNAs of which miR-142-5p had the greatest inhibitory effect. We found that overexpression of miR-142-5p suppressed XIAP expression by binding to its 3'UTR in OVCAR3 and SKOV3 cells. Using a chemosensitivity assay, we found that in OVCAR3, SKOV3, and primary epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells, overexpression or inhibition of miR-142-5p increased or suppressed their sensitivities to cisplatin respectively. In contrast, introducing XIAP without a 3'UTR counteracted the effect of overexpressed miR-142-5p on cisplatin-induced apoptosis in OVCAR3 ovarian cancer cells. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between miR-142-5p expression and XIAP protein levels in clinical samples from patients with EOC. Using clinical and miRNA expression data of more than 200 ovarian cancer patients treated with platinum-based chemotherapy from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, we found ovarian cancer patients with higher expression levels of miR-142-5p had longer median progression-free survival as compared to patients with lower miR-142-5p levels. We demonstrated that miR-142-5p also targeted four other anti-apoptotic genes, baculoviral IAP repeat-containing 3 (BIRC3), B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL2), BCL2 like 2 (BCL2L2), and myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (MCL1) specifically. Transcriptome sequencing shed light on the essential apoptosis-related pathway in which miR-142-5p may be involved. To conclude, our findings illustrate that miR-142-5p sensitizes ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis by targeting multiple anti-apoptotic genes including XIAP, and may also suggest the therapeutic potential of miR-142-5p in ovarian cancer treatment.