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Conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals has attracted immense research and development around the world. Lowering recalcitrance of biomass in a cost-effective manner is a challenge to commercialize biomass-based technologies. Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) are new ‘green’ solvents that have a high potential for biomass processing because of their low cost, low toxicity, biodegradability, easy recycling and reuse. This article discusses the properties of DESs and recent advances in their application for lignocellulosic biomass processing. The effectiveness of DESs in hydrolyzing lignin-carbohydrate complexes, removing lignin/hemicellulose from biomass as well as their effect on biomass deconstruction, crystallinity and enzymatic digestibility have been discussed. Moreover, this review presents recent findings on the compatibility of natural DESs with enzymes and microorganisms.