Death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) is known for its involvement in apoptosis and autophagy-associated cell death. Here, we identified an unexpected function of DAPK1 in suppressing necroptosis. DAPK1-deficiency renders macrophages and dendritic cells susceptible to necroptotic death. We also observed an inhibitory role for DAPK1 in necroptosis in HT-29 cells. Increased necroptosis was associated with enhanced formation of the RIPK1-RIPK3-MLKL complex in these DAPK1-deficient cells. We further found that DAPK1-deficiency led to decreased MAPK activated kinase 2 (MK2) activation and reduced RIPK1 S321 phosphorylation, with this latter representing a critical step controlling necrosome formation. Most TNF signaling pathways, including ERK, JNK and AKT, were not regulated by DAPK. In contrast, DAPK bound p38 MAPK and selectively promoted p38 MAPK activation, resulting in enhanced MK2 phosphorylation. Our results reveal a novel role for DAPK1 in inhibiting necroptosis and illustrate an unexpected selectivity for DAPK1 in promoting p38 MAPK-MK2 activation. Importantly, our study suggests that modulation of necroptosis and p38/MK2-mediated inflammation may be achieved by targeting DAPK1.