Cloud computing is a recently looming-evoked paradigm, the aim of which is to provide on-demand, pay-as-you-go, internet-based access to shared computing resources (hardware and software) in a metered, self-service, dynamically scalable fashion. A related hot topic at the moment is task scheduling, which is well known for delivering critical cloud service performance. However, the dilemmas of resources being underutilized (underloaded) and overutilized (overloaded) may arise as a result of improper scheduling, which in turn leads to either wastage of cloud resources or degradation in service performance, respectively. Thus, the idea of incorporating meta-heuristic algorithms into task scheduling emerged in order to efficiently distribute complex and diverse incoming tasks (cloudlets) across available limited resources, within a reasonable time. Meta-heuristic techniques have proven very capable of solving scheduling problems, which is fulfilled herein from a cloud perspective by first providing a brief on traditional and heuristic scheduling methods before diving deeply into the most popular meta-heuristics for cloud task scheduling followed by a detailed systematic review featuring a novel taxonomy of those techniques, along with their advantages and limitations. More specifically, in this study, the basic concepts of cloud task scheduling are addressed smoothly, as well as diverse swarm, evolutionary, physical, emerging, and hybrid meta-heuristic scheduling techniques are categorized as per the nature of the scheduling problem (i.e., single- or multi-objective), the primary objective of scheduling, task-resource mapping scheme, and scheduling constraint. Armed with these methods, some of the most recent relevant literature are surveyed, and insights into the identification of existing challenges are presented, along with a trail to potential solutions. Furthermore, guidelines to future research directions drawn from recently emerging trends are outlined, which should definitely contribute to assisting current researchers and practitioners as well as pave the way for newbies excited about cloud task scheduling to pursue their own glory in the field.