The aim of this paper is an attempt to answer the question whether, and how, proper names ought to be described in general dictionaries of Polish. This is not a new problem; it was discussed in numerous studies, such as ones by Kazimierz Rymut (1988), Aleksandra Cieślikowa (1993), Wojciech Chlebda (2000) or Bożena Dereń (2005), and yet it has been still significant and topical. The importance of the discussed issues is proved by the failure to create a consistent concept of describing proper names in non-onomastic and non-specialised lexicographic works thus far, which results directly from the fact of omitting to place these units in the majority of dictionaries. Moreover, the problem of dictionary selection and description refers also to the newly created lexemes derived from onomastic words in terms of word-building and semantics and to the ones under creation.
The theoretical findings related to the indicators of onymicity and the issue of the semantic value of nomina propria, which are the most significant from the viewpoint of this paper, are presented first. Next, the presence of proper names in the selected 19th- and 20th-century lexicographic works, such as SL, Swil, SW, SJPD, SJPSz, PSWP, SWJP, USJP and ISJP, are discussed. Finally, a concept of such a lexicographic description of proper names that draws from the most recent research in the field of onomastics and linguistic semantics, on the one hand, and that arises directly from the analysis of the texts collected in the National Corpus of Polish (www.nkjp.pl), on the other hand, is proposed.