There has been exponential growth in research activities on nanomaterials and nanotechnology for applications in emerging technologies and sustainable energy in the past decade. The properties of nanomaterials have been found to vary in terms of their shapes, sizes, and number of nanoscale dimensions, which have also further boosted the performance of nanomaterial-based electronic, catalytic, and sustainable energy conversion and storage devices. This reveals the importance and, indeed, the linchpin role of nanomaterial synthesis for current nanotechnology and high-performance functional devices. In this review, we provide an overview of the synthesis strategies for designing metal oxide nanomaterials in zero-dimensional (0D), one-dimensional (1D), two-dimensional (2D), and three-dimensional (3D) forms, particularly of the selected typical metal oxides TiO2, SnO2 and ZnO. The pros and cons of the typical synthetic methods and experimental protocols are reviewed and outlined. This comprehensive review gives a broad overview of the synthetic strategies for designing "property-on-demand" metal oxide nanostructures to further advance current nanoscience and nanotechnology.