From the viewpoint of meeting the current green chemistry challenges in chemical synthesis, there is a need to disseminate how the cocktail of acylation and activation can play a pivotal role in affording bioactive acylated products comprising substituted ketone motifs in fewer reaction steps, with higher atom-economy and improved selectivity. In recent years, a significant number of articles employing the title compounds "aldehydes"as magnificent acylation surrogates which are less toxic and widely applicable have been published. This review sheds light on the compounds use for selective acylation of arene, heteroarene and alkyl (sp3, sp2 and sp) C-H bonds by proficient utilization of the C-H activation strategy. Critical insights into selective acylation of diverse moieties for the synthesis of bioactive compounds are presented in this review that will enable academic and industrial researchers to understand the mechanistic aspects involved and fruitfully employ these strategies in designing novel molecules. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.