Ampelopsin has been suggested as a novel anticancer agent, however, there is no evidence regarding its direct effect on the migration and invasion of osteosarcoma cells. The aims of the present study were to investigate the influence of ampelopsin on the migration and invasion of osteosarcoma cells and to clarify the underlying mechanisms. Scratch wound healing and Transwell assays were used to measure the migratory and invasive activities of the cells, respectively. The protein and RNA levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) were detected with western blot and RT-qPCR, respectively, following stimulation with tumor necrosis factor‑α (TNF-α) and ampelopsin. The expression levels of phospho‑ and total-p38MAPK were detected using western blot analysis. Additionally, SB203580, an inhibitor of p38MAPK, was used to investigate the effect of TNF‑α and ampelopsin. The results demonstrated that TNF‑α upregulated the expression level of MMP‑2 and promoted the migration and invasion of osteosarcoma cells. TNF‑α also activated the p38MAPK pathway, and SB203580 significantly inhibited the effect of TNF‑α on MMP‑2 expression. The application of ampelopsin abolished the effects of TNF‑α on the activation of the p38MAPK pathway and the expression of MMP‑2, and downregulated the migration and invasion of the osteosarcoma cells. These results demonstrated that ampelopsin inhibits the TNF‑α‑induced migration and invasion of osteosarcoma cells, and that the effect of ampelopsin was mediated by p38MAPK/MMP‑2 signaling.