Villa chiefs had maintained throughout an increasingly tortuous campaign that Lambert retained their full backing but acted after Tuesday’s defeat at Hull.
Lambert signed a contract extension after a good start to the season in September but Villa’s form quickly deteriorated and included a dismal run of 659 minutes without a top-flight goal.
He faced increasing signs of unrest from supporters while the local Birmingham Mail launched a campaign calling for his removal a matter of hours before the club announced his departure.
A statement on the club’s website said: “Aston Villa Football Club has parted company this evening with manager Paul Lambert.
“First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall will continue to prepare the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Leicester City at Villa Park.
“The club would also like to place on record its thanks to Paul and take this opportunity to wish him every success in the future.
“The club will announce a new manager in due course. There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.”
Former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood, current Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement and United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann have already been installed among the bookmakers’ favourites to replace Lambert, as owner Randy Lerner begins the search for a new boss.