The paper deals with current lexical databases that are seen as a basis for broad-coverage general-purpose ontologies. Various extensions and refinements of existing multi-lingual lexical knowledge bases are proposed with the aim of improving the capabilities of these resources. The main goal lies in the effort to gain a better lexical knowledge representation, which is crucial to coping with the requirements of the Semantic Web. The final section discusses the question of how lexical knowledge bases can be shared and combined. It presents the designed and implemented system WOMANISER that is able to merge independently developed parts of ontologies, check inconsistencies and report errors. The paper ends with the future directions of this research.