Herein, two-shaped cerium oxide nanoparticles (NPs), that is, spherical and cubical, were synthesized through hydrothermal approach by tuning reaction temperatures. The morphology and structural and chemical composition of both samples were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high-resolution TEM (HRTEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively. Both types of NPs were subjected to photodegradation of industrial dye, methylene blue, under dark, sunlight, and UV irradiation, and their recyclability and reusability were also assessed. Besides, the effect of pH, concentration of NPs, and dye on degradability was also analyzed. The cubical-shaped NPs demonstrated superior degradation of ~70% under UV irradiation than the spherical ones (<50%). The antibacterial activities of both NPs were also examined, and cubical-shaped NPs were found to exhibit superior antimicrobial potential (zone of inhibition [ZOI]: 25.75 ± 0.25, 18.83 ± 0.76, 15.75 ± 0.66, and 15.75 ± 0.25 mm) in comparison with the spherical ones (ZOI: 19.41 ± 0.94, 14.25 ± 0.66, 12.58 ± 1.01, and 9.91 ± 1.01 nm) for Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus aureus respectively with reduced growth and viable count. This difference in performance may be attributed to the higher surface areas of cubical-shaped NPs and higher content of oxygen vacancies. The results presented in this study suggest that cubical NPs are excellent candidates for treating industrial wastewater with greater reproducibility. Moreover, they can be used as active growth inhibitors against different microorganisms and thus can be extremely useful in developing medical devices and to design various antimicrobial systems.