Water scarcity is a major concern all over the world and efforts have been made to stop this crisis by making water drinkable. For water purification, different techniques have been used such as reverse osmosis (RO), ultra-filtration (UF), nano-filtration (NF), microfiltration (MF), multi-effect distillation (MED), multi-stage flash evaporation (MSF), mechanical vapour compression (MVC) and membrane distillation (MD). Among these techniques, MD is one of the most promising technologies that emerged in the last few decades. It is a temperature-driven separation process in which only water vapors can pass through the micro-porous hydrophobic membrane leaving behind the other undesired substances. The main factor in this process is the temperature gradient developed across the membrane. The hydrophobicity of the membrane restricts the mass transfer through the membrane. In this review, the membrane distillation technique has been discussed with all its properties and applications. The main focus was on membrane characteristics finding a way to develop a suitable membrane for water desalination. The battle to acquire 100 % salt rejection in membrane distillation is a continuing effort by researchers. This review article highlights certain point regarding the membrane distillation technology viz.; membrane distillation history, its characteristics, properties, types and applications.