Cinnamic acid belongs to phenolic-acid class of polyphenols, one of the most abundant plant secondary metabolites. These substances are widely studied because of plethora of their biological activities. In particular, their inhibition of protein kinases contributes to the pleiotropic effects in the cell. Protein kinases are essential in controlling cell signaling networks. Selective targeting of oncogenic protein kinases increases clinical anticancer efficacy. Cinnamic acid and related compounds have inspired researchers in the design of numerous synthetic and semisynthetic inhibitors of oncogenic protein kinases for the past three decades. Interest in cinnamoyl-scaffold-containing compounds revived in recent years, which was stimulated by modern drug design and discovery methodologies such as in vitro and in silico HTS. This review presents cinnamic acid derivatives and analogs for which direct inhibition of protein kinases was identified. We also summarize significance of the above protein kinase families – validated or promising targets for anticancer therapies. The inhibition mode may vary from ATP-competitive, through bisubstrate-competitive and mixedcompetitive, to non-competitive one. Kinase selectivity is often correlated with subtle chemical modifications, and may also be steered by an additional non-cinnamoyl fragment of the inhibitor. Specific cinnamic acid congeners may synergize their effects in the cell by a wider range of activities, like suppression of additional enzymes, e.g. deubiquitinases, influencing the same signaling pathways (e.g. JAK2/STAT). Cinnamic acid, due to its biological and physicochemical properties, provides nature-inspired ideas leading to novel inhibitors of oncogenic protein kinases and related enzymes, capable to target a variety of cancer cells.