Eunicid annelids inhabit diverse marine habitats worldwide, have ecological and economic importance and have been pictured in the news as giant predator worms. They compose a traditional stable taxon recently supported as monophyletic but characterized by plesiomorphies. Most genera within the family have been recovered as paraphyletic in previous studies. We present a phylogenetic hypothesis for eunicid based on molecular (COI, 16S rDNA, 18S rDNA) and morphological data (213 characters), including an explicit attempt to account for serial homology. Eunicidae as well as monophyletic genera Marphysa sensu stricto and Lysidice is redefined based on synapomorphies. Nematonereis is synonymized to Lysidice. Leodice and Nicidion are resurrected to name monophyletic groups including species previously included in Eunice and Marphysa sensu lato. Traditional diagnostic characters such as the absence/presence of peristomial cirri, lateral antennae and branchiae are homoplasies and not informative at the generic level. Different coding of traditional characters (i.e. articulation of prostomial appendages) and novel characters of prostomial features and regionalization of the body support the monophyly of the family and genera level clades. Thus, the phylogenetic hypothesis presented here and the evolution of characters provided background information for taxonomic changes yielding evolutionary meaningful classification and diagnoses for the family and genera.