Cerium dioxide (CeO2, ceria) is becoming an ubiquitous constituent in catalytic systems for a variety of applications. 2016 sees the 40(th) anniversary since ceria was first employed by Ford Motor Company as an oxygen storage component in car converters, to become in the years since its inception an irreplaceable component in three-way catalysts (TWCs). Apart from this well-established use, ceria is looming as a catalyst component for a wide range of catalytic applications. For some of these, such as fuel cells, CeO2-based materials have almost reached the market stage, while for some other catalytic reactions, such as reforming processes, photocatalysis, water-gas shift reaction, thermochemical water splitting, and organic reactions, ceria is emerging as a unique material, holding great promise for future market breakthroughs. While much knowledge about the fundamental characteristics of CeO2-based materials has already been acquired, new characterization techniques and powerful theoretical methods are deepening our understanding of these materials, helping us to predict their behavior and application potential. This review has a wide view on all those aspects related to ceria which promise to produce an important impact on our life, encompassing fundamental knowledge of CeO2 and its properties, characterization toolbox, emerging features, theoretical studies, and all the catalytic applications, organized by their degree of establishment on the market.