SARS-CoV-2 Omicron emerged in November 2021 and is rapidly spreading among the human populations. The variant contains 34 changes in its spike protein including 15 substitutions at the receptor-binding domain (RBD). While recent reports reveal that the Omicron variant can robustly escape from vaccine and therapeutic neutralization antibodies, the pathogenicity of the virus remains unknown. Here, we investigate the virological features and pathogenesis of the Omicron variant using in vitro and in vivo models. Our results demonstrate that the replication of the Omicron variant is dramatically attenuated in Calu3 and Caco2 but not in VeroE6 cells. Further mechanistic investigations reveal that the Omicron variant is deficient in transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) usage in comparison to that of WT, Alpha, Beta, and Delta variant, which explained its inefficient replication in Calu3 and Caco2 cells. Importantly, the replication of the Omicron variant is markedly attenuated in both the upper and lower respiratory tract of infected K18-hACE2 mice in comparison to that of WT and Delta variant, which results in its dramatically ameliorated lung pathology. When compared with SARS-CoV-2 WT, Alpha, Beta, and Delta variant, infection by the Omicron variant causes the least body weight loss and mortality rate. Overall, our study demonstrates that the Omicron variant is significantly attenuated in virus replication and pathogenicity in comparison with WT and previous variants. Our data suggest the current global vaccination strategy has forced SARS-CoV-2 into a new evolutionary trajectory towards reduced replication fitness in exchange of better immune escape. These findings are critical for setting policy in the pandemic control and disease management of COVID-19.