Classically, eosinophilic esophagitis is an antigen-mediated chronic disease distinct from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Eosinophilic esophagitis is an emerging clinical problem that is growing in recognition. It is characterized clinically by feeding dysfunction, dysphagia, and reflux-like symptoms. Histologically, eosinophilic esophagitis is identifiable by a dense epithelial eosinophilic infiltrate. Experimental modeling and clinical studies over the last decade have greatly improved mechanistic insights and led to improvements in clinical understanding and the assessment of therapeutic options for patients and their clinicians who manage this disease. Here, we review the clinicopathologic diagnostic criteria and our understanding of eosinophilic esophagitis as an allergic disease with genetic and immunological components. We present studies defining the importance of the epithelial barrier and the concept of barrier dysfunction as an initiating or perpetuating factor for this disease. We discuss the relationship between the symptoms of dysphagia and feeding dysfunction, our current knowledge of the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms, and advances in clinical assessment of esophageal distensibility and narrowing in eosinophilic esophagitis patients. Finally, therapeutic implications relating to the advances that have led to our current understanding of the pathophysiology of eosinophilic esophagitis are explored.