Resumo: Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an analytical method that employs short laser pulses (nano- to femtoseconds) able to create a high temperature plasma at the test sample, as the vaporization, atomization, and excitation source. The radiation emitted by the excited species (atoms, ions, and molecular fragments) within the laser-induced plasma is directed to the entrance slit of an optical emission spectrometer, that generates an emission spectrum characteristic of the elemental composition of the sample. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses are exploited with or without the aid of chemometric tools by using the information provided by the emission spectra. In the last 15 years, as pointed out in many reviews, LIBS has gained enormous popularity and established itself as an analytical spectroscopic tool in several fields. In this opportunity, it is intended to demonstrate, through a critical evaluation of different applications, the usefulness of LIBS and the reasons for the considerable increasing interest by the scientific community.