The nomenclatural history of subfamilies of the Dicranaceae Schimp. is presented. The Dicranelloideae Lindb. is the oldest name for a subfamily comprising genera centred around Dicranella (Müll. Hal.) Schimp. and the Anisothecioideae Broth. and Campylopodioideae Broth. are synonyms of this name. The Campylopoideae (Limpr.) Ochyra, stat. et comb. nov., is a new subfamily name for genera assembled around Campylopus Brid. and this name has to replace the Campylopodioideae sensu Frahm of 1991, whereas the Brotheroideae Takaki, nom. nud., is a synonym of this name. The Paraleucobryoideae Broth. is included in the type subfamily of the Dicranaceae. The Oncophoroideae Lindb. is resurrected to accommodate genera traditionally placed in the Rhabdoweisioideae Broth. or Rhabdoweisiaceae Limpr., and the Cynodontioideae AJE Sm., nom. inval., is a synonym of this name.