Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.28
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 140.12 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: Android, iOS 9.0
Score: 4.5
From 4,657 Ratings


Pleco is the ultimate Chinese learning companion - an integrated dictionary / document reader / flashcard system with fullscreen handwriting input and live OCR, from a company that's been making the world's best mobile Chinese learning apps since 2001. Major features: ($ = paid add-on) • Amazing dictionaries. We include two lovely free ones built-in: the popular open-source CC-CEDICT, with over 110,000 frequently-updated entries, and our own PLC dictionary, with 125,000 more detailed entries, parts of speech, and over 25,000 example sentences (with Pinyin). More than two dozen other dictionaries are available as free and paid ($) add-ons, including licensed titles from well-known publishers like Oxford, Longman, FLTRP, Tuttle, SLPH, and Commercial Press. • Powerful merged search: look up words by Chinese characters, Pinyin (spaces / tones optional), or English, with support for wildcards and full-text search. And no need to tediously flip between all of those dictionaries to find a word - just type in your search term and instantly get a combined, frequency-sorted result list. • Links and cross-references: easily look up character components, break down words into individual characters, look up lists of words containing a particular character, search across all dictionaries for example sentences containing a word, and even find synonyms / antonyms using our (experimental) free thesaurus add-on. • Gorgeous typography: see it for yourself in our screenshots - we think we're one of the best-looking Chinese dictionaries around. Alternate Kai/Song/Xing-style Chinese fonts are also available ($). • PRC/HK/Taiwan-friendly: every part of Pleco supports both traditional and simplified characters, headword pronunciations can be shown in Zhuyin as well as in Pinyin, and we even support Cantonese search and display in our PLC dictionary. • Audio: Hear Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations for words and example sentences using iOS' free built-in text-to-speech system. We also offer add-ons ($) with native-speaker Mandarin and Cantonese recordings, plus higher-quality Mandarin text-to-speech system options. • Document Reader: bring in text from the clipboard and tap on words in it to instantly look them up. Upgrade ($) adds support for tap-lookups in text, HTML, DOC, DOCX, PDF, and EPUB files, and in embedded lyrics in songs and podcasts. • OCR: look up words simply by pointing your device's camera at them, or by tapping on them in a still image. ($) • Fullscreen handwriting: use your device's whole screen instead of just a little box. Extremely accurate and highly tolerant of stroke order mistakes. ($) • Flashcards: create a card from any dictionary entry with a single button tap, import premade word lists, use advanced memorization techniques like SRS, and study in a variety of modes including fill-in-the-blanks handwriting and tone drills. ($) • Stroke Order Diagrams: animations showing you how to draw each character; 500 characters for free, 28,000 in paid ($) version. • User dictionaries: create new dictionary entries right on your device as you encounter new words. ($) • Absolutely no ads. We also offer famously excellent customer support and an active user community at And we're constantly working to make our products better; our sales and customer base have been growing for 15 years across 4 different mobile platforms. You can be confident that we'll still be fixing bugs and adding features for years to come. Our paid add-ons can be transferred to other devices that link to your iTunes account just like any other paid iTunes content; simply install our free app, open up the "Add-ons" screen, and tap on the "Restore Purchases" button to activate your purchase on each device. Please contact us at, via the form at, or using the in-app "Contact Support" command with any questions - we'll be delighted to hear from you.



  • Incredible

    By Dissatisfied pokemon fan
    I honestly can’t say enough good things about this app. Incredible, absolutely amazing, best purchase I’ve ever made in my language career. Learning Chinese can be very, very hard, sometimes so hard you want to give up, and this app has saved me so many times from that feeling. A must have for anyone learning Chinese, even casually.
  • Wonderful

    By mudmop
    If you’ve ever used a find-a-character paper dictionary, you know how difficult that process can be. Pleco, which I utilize every day, makes looking up characters so much easier. I find the example sentences very useful. Since Pleco supports, for the most part, my reading of Chinese, I still appreciate having access to the audio files.
  • Yay?

    By Cheesybobandbluelynx
    So this app is cool you know it helped me with my Chinese homework and blablabla...... but it looks..... old school? I mean can’t you use better techno.
  • The best

    By Raesu
    Dictionary for any language. The whole package of multiple dictionaries, integrated reader, flashcards, purchasable content like stories and news articles, and more. I wish they supported languages like German and Spanish, and had a larger selection of content to purchase! My Chinese wouldn't be where it is today without Pleco.
  • a lifesaver

    By Sophieleeajh12
    Pleco is extremely useful for an intermediate Chinese speaker like me. I like the features, especially the Zhuyin, flashcards, and handwriting. It’s easy to use and understand with the audio and Pinyin. One suggestion I have is to add some Hokkien dictionaries and audio. I know that there are people who’ve been asking for that addiction since 2014, and it would be really helpful for some of us.
  • Stellar 星!!!!

    By Nick M.777
    This app has helped me learn 70 words solidly, through Spaced Repetition, in 7 days. Worth it to buy the big bundle, especially for the Flashcards. Also love the stroke order and the native speakers, make and female to really hear how the words are pronounced. Thank you for an absolutely incredible app!!
  • Perfect

    By Sara nkn
    It's just amazing, even has the names of Chinese villages
  • Disappointed

    By Ajtcanvaz
    I tried to download this app but it just won’t load. Either the app is incompatible with apple products or the program is too complex to download.
  • Revolutionized my study of Chinese…again

    By naktvwatcher
    I read a lot of obscure texts, and Pleco makes all the difference. It helps me look up words fast, then quickly create flashcards to build new words into my vocabulary. The one thing I regret is that for the past few years I cheaped out on dictionaries, and didn’t buy many of them. My reasoning was that since I had paper versions of them, why buy the electronic versions? Big mistake. This month I bought the Grand Ricci, the Hanyu Da Cidian, the Chengyu dictionary—well, basically all of the big ones. I’m really glad I did. When you read a text, it finds complex compounds that you would never think to look up in a bigger dictionary. So, if you use Chinese in your profession, get Pleco and buy those dictionaries. Oh, here’s some dictionaries I wish it had: Hucker, A Dictionary of Official Titles; Brunnert and Hagelstrom, Present Day Political Organization of China. Update: still love it like crazy. I really also would still very much like to see Brunnert and Hagelstrom (which is in the public domain) and Hucker. Lately I've really gotten into working systematically with flash cards. It's a great feature!
  • Best Chinese Dictionary in the App Store

    By Sarchale
    There’s a few things that make Pleco great, but the things that stand out to me are the adaptability to real-life situations through things like the OCR and Character Handwriting Add-ons, not to mention the massive character dictionary. I really love this app!