Electrospinning is a versatile and viable technique for generating ultrathin fibers. Remarkable progress has been made with regard to the development of electrospinning methods and engineering of electrospun nanofibers to suit or enable various applications. We aim to provide a comprehensive overview of electrospinning, including the principle, methods, materials, and applications. We begin with a brief introduction to the early history of electrospinning, followed by discussion of its principle and typical apparatus. We then discuss its renaissance over the past two decades as a powerful technology for the production of nanofibers with diversified compositions, structures, and properties. Afterward, we discuss the applications of electrospun nanofibers, including their use as “smart” mats, filtration membranes, catalytic supports, energy harvesting/conversion/storage components, and photonic and electronic devices, as well as biomedical scaffolds. We highlight the most relevant and recent advances related to the applications of electrospun nanofibers by focusing on the most representative examples. We also offer perspectives on the challenges, opportunities, and new directions for future development. At the end, we discuss approaches to the scale-up production of electrospun nanofibers and briefly discuss various types of commercial products based on electrospun nanofibers that have found widespread use in our everyday life.