MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs derived from the 3′ and 5′ ends of the same precursor. However, the biological function and mechanism of miRNA arm expression preference remain unclear in breast cancer. We found significant decreases in the expression levels of miR-193a-5p but no significant differences in those of miR-193a-3p in breast cancer. MiR-193a-3p suppressed breast cancer cell growth and migration and invasion abilities, whereas miR-193a-5p suppressed cell growth but did not influence cell motility. Furthermore, NLN and CCND1, PLAU, and SEPN1 were directly targeted by miR-193a-5p and miR-193a-3p, respectively, in breast cancer cells. The endogenous levels of miR-193a-5p and miR-193a-3p were significantly increased by transfecting breast cancer cells with the 3′UTR of their direct targets. Comprehensive analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas database revealed significant differences in the arm expression preferences of several miRNAs between breast cancer and adjacent normal tissues. Our results collectively indicate that the arm expression preference phenomenon may be attributable to the target gene amount during breast cancer progression. The miRNA arm expression preference may be a means of modulating miRNA function, further complicating the mRNA regulatory network. Our findings provide a new insight into miRNA regulation and an application for breast cancer therapy.