© 2020 Author(s). We theoretically investigate the thermionic emission from nodal-ring semimetals. The thermionic emission is found to be anisotropic in the x- and y-directions. The anisotropic emission can be enhanced by increasing the radius of nodal-ring b. The main feature of nodal-ring semimetals not only results in anisotropic thermionic emission but also affects the value of thermionic emission current density (TECD). The TECD of the lower branch of the energy-momentum dispersion increases with b, while the TECD of the upper branch decreases with b. Unlike in conventional materials, the TECD in nodal-ring semimetals depends on Fermi energy that is similar to the situation in Dirac semimetals. The underlined reason is that Dirac semimetals and nodal-ring semimetals have a linear or a linear-like energy-momentum dispersion while conventional materials have a parabolic energy-momentum dispersion. The TECD of nodal-ring semimetals depends strongly on work function and temperature.