This review paper provides a recent overview of current international research that is being conducted into the functional properties of cellulose as a nanomaterial. A particular emphasis is placed on fundamental and applied research that is being undertaken to generate applications, which are now becoming a real prospect given the developments in the field over the last 20 years. A short introduction covers the context of the work, and definitions of the different forms of cellulose nanomaterials (CNMs) that are most widely studied. We also address the terminology used for CNMs, suggesting a standard way to classify these materials. The reviews are separated out into theme areas, namely healthcare, water purification, biocomposites, and energy. Each section contains a short review of the field within the theme and summarizes recent work being undertaken by the groups represented. Topics that are covered include cellulose nanocrystals for directed growth of tissues, bacterial cellulose in healthcare, nanocellulose for drug delivery, nanocellulose for water purification, nanocellulose for thermoplastic composites, nanocellulose for structurally colored materials, transparent wood biocomposites, supercapacitors and batteries.