Nanomaterials have emerged as an amazing class of materials that consists of a broad spectrum of examples with at least one dimension in the range of 1 to 100 nm. Nanomaterials have emerged as an amazing class of materials that consists of a broad spectrum of examples with at least one dimension in the range of 1 to 100 nm. Exceptionally high surface areas can be achieved through the rational design of nanomaterials. Nanomaterials can be produced with outstanding magnetic, electrical, optical, mechanical, and catalytic properties that are substantially different from their bulk counterparts. The nanomaterial properties can be tuned as desired via precisely controlling the size, shape, synthesis conditions, and appropriate functionalization. This review discusses a brief history of nanomaterials and their use throughout history to trigger advances in nanotechnology development. In particular, we describe and define various terms relating to nanomaterials. Various nanomaterial synthesis methods, including top-down and bottom-up approaches, are discussed. The unique features of nanomaterials are highlighted throughout the review. This review describes advances in nanomaterials, specifically fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, graphene, carbon quantum dots, nanodiamonds, carbon nanohorns, nanoporous materials, core–shell nanoparticles, silicene, antimonene, MXenes, 2D MOF nanosheets, boron nitride nanosheets, layered double hydroxides, and metal-based nanomaterials. Finally, we conclude by discussing challenges and future perspectives relating to nanomaterials.