Recently there have been many research breakthroughs in two-dimensional (2D) materials including graphene, boron nitride (h-BN), black phosphors (BPs), and transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). The unique electrical, optical, and thermal properties in 2D materials are associated with their strictly defined low dimensionalities. These materials provide a wide range of basic building blocks for next-generation electronics. The chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique has shown great promise to generate high-quality TMDC layers with scalable size, controllable thickness, and excellent electronic properties suitable for both technological applications and fundamental sciences. The capability to precisely engineer 2D materials by chemical approaches has also given rise to fascinating new physics, which could lead to exciting new applications. In this Review, we introduce the latest development of TMDC synthesis by CVD approaches and provide further insight for the controllable and reliable synthesis of atomically thin TMDCs. Understanding of the vapor-phase growth mechanism of 2D TMDCs could benefit the formation of complicated heterostructures and novel artificial 2D lattices.