Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) serves numerous important functions in the central nervous system. Despite numerous reports characterizing CSF and its circulation in the subarachnoid space, our understanding of CSF outflow remains limited. Although initial work suggested that both arachnoid granulations and lymphatic capillaries shared in the role of CSF outflow, predominant work since then has focused on the arachnoid granulations. A growing body of recent evidence not only suggests the importance of both arachnoid granulations and lymphatic capillaries, but also additional contributions through transependymal passage likely share in the role of CSF outflow. Consideration of all mechanisms and pathways will help us to better understand the significance of CSF outflow, in health and disease. Here we review how the present concept of CSF outflow has evolved, including a historical review of significant findings and a discussion of the latest innovative developments.