Padian and Hutchinson (1997) provided the a stem-based definition for Sinraptoridae. Independently, Sereno (1998) presented what amounted to a first-order revision of the definition, adding three additional genera as external specifiers. Holtz et al. (2004) used a similar definition but only included a single external specifier (Carcharodontosaurus saharicus).
The active definition is a first-order revision of previous definitions that, like Holtz et al. (2004), restricts the external specifiers to a single nominal species for each of the other two subclades of Allosauroidea (Allosaurus fragilis, Carcharodontosaurus saharicus) and adds an avian specifier to ensure stability of content should Sinraptor prove more closely related to coelurosaurians than to other allosauroids.