Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of severe respiratory disease in infants and the elderly. The socioeconomic burden of RSV infection is substantial because it leads to serious respiratory problems, subsequent hospitalization, and mortality. Despite its clinical significance, a safe and effective vaccine is not yet available to prevent RSV infection. Upon RSV infection, lung dendritic cells (DCs) detecting pathogens migrate to the lymph nodes and activate the adaptive immune response. Therefore, RSV has evolved various immunomodulatory strategies to inhibit DC function. Due to the capacity of RSV to modulate defense mechanisms in hosts, RSV infection results in inappropriate activation of immune responses resulting in immunopathology and frequent reinfection throughout life. This review discusses how DCs recognize invading RSV and induce adaptive immune responses, as well as the regulatory mechanisms mediated by RSV to disrupt DC functions and ultimately avoid host defenses.