Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.38
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 129.68 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: iOS 9.3+
Score: 4.5
From 5,108 Ratings


NO SUBSCRIPTIONS; we offer additional dictionaries, graded readers, and other features as one-time purchases, but there are absolutely no subscriptions in our app. 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 offer two free built-in dictionaries: the popular open-source CC-CEDICT, with over 110,000 frequently-updated entries, and our own PLC dictionary, with 125,000 entries, parts of speech, and over 25,000 example sentences (with Pinyin). More than two dozen other dictionaries are available as free and paid ($) add-ons, including licensed titles from well-known publishers like Oxford, Longman, FLTRP, Tuttle, SLPH, and Commercial Press. • Powerful merged search: look up words by Chinese characters, Pinyin (spaces / tones optional), or English, with support for wildcards and full-text search. And no need to tediously flip between all of those dictionaries to find a word - just type in your search term and instantly get a combined, frequency-sorted result list. • Links and cross-references: easily look up character components, break down words into individual characters, look up lists of words containing a particular character, and search across all dictionaries for example sentences containing a word. • Gorgeous typography: see it for yourself in our screenshots - we think we're one of the best-looking Chinese dictionaries around. Alternate Kai/Song/Xing-style Chinese fonts are also available ($). • PRC/HK/Taiwan-friendly: every part of Pleco supports both traditional and simplified, headword readings can be shown in Pinyin and Zhuyin, and some dictionaries even support Cantonese. (note: stroke order diagrams do support traditional characters, but use PRC order) • Audio: Hear Mandarin and Cantonese for words and example sentences using iOS' free built-in text-to-speech system. We also offer add-ons ($) with native-speaker Mandarin recordings and higher-quality Mandarin TTS. • Document Reader: bring in text from the clipboard and tap on words in it to instantly look them up. Upgrade ($) adds support for tap-lookups in text, HTML, DOC, DOCX, PDF, and EPUB files. We also offer graded readings ($). • OCR: look up words simply by pointing your device's camera at them, or by tapping on them in a still image. ($) • 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 19 years across 4 different platforms. You can be confident that we'll still be fixing bugs and adding features for years to come. 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.


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It’s honelstly good and I’ve been using it for a year

No doubt the best Chinese dictionary on the App Store, but I believe that there should be some more features added. First there should be a handwritten method to enter a character built into the interface. Secondly the interface itself is a bit too formally structured. It’s hard to jump from entry to entry without a lot of screen digging. Plus I’m personally not a fan of the dictionary’s aesthetics and I think a the new interface should have a new design that better fits the logo. Finally, an addition where there is a way to discover new random characters. Basically having a section similar to renzo inc.’s Japanese dictionary that sends you a sea of Japanese characters to study and I think a similar idea could be well implemented into this great app. Besides these little critiques, I’m all for this dictionary
By Yotsukeiro

Pleco is Truly a 5 Star

I have used this app daily for about 8 years. It just keeps getting better. Love it. I use on my iPhones 4, 5, 6S, 10S and iPads. Truly the best APP for Chinese learners of every level.
By 28 n holding


If you already speak Mandarin or Cantonese or would even like to start learning, this is HANDS DOWN, THE most powerful tool you will EVER find in helping you improve. I have spent countless hours downloading many, many other Chinese learning apps and tools and this is by FAR the best, and the amazing people at Pleco aren’t slowing down in their drive to continually improve the apps tools and dictionaries available. Don’t waste your time looking at other Chinese learning or dictionary apps, you absolutely will not regret getting Pleco.
By Deefizzle

New update makes app not functional

Today’s new update makes the dictionary unable to add flash cards because there is no “+” button. Also when I try to start a test, it just says “loading database. This may take a few seconds” and never loads my cards. I also can’t access the organize cards section either. The app worked fine before this update, though.
By Liann Shannon

Very helpful, I only have one problem

The app is easy to use and helpful, and I only have one problem with it. I can’t seem to find it how to search up characters with handwriting, at least on iPhones. I have tried using the app on an Android, and it’s easy to use the handwriting to text option. I’m wondering if it’s just me that can’t figure it out or if you have to pay for that feature on iPhones?
By ctyyy05

Indispensable for living in China

I’ve been living in China 8 years and studied Chinese in a university here. This app was, and still is, in daily use by me! Easily the best.
By Chorny

best thing since sliced bread

even bare bones pleco is a great tool for learning. looking up words will net several listings but the sentence usage helps me figure out which listing is the most appropriate for my composition usage needs. love that it has cantonese and it has, so far, the best capability to recognize handwritten characters (even better than mdbg altho i love mdbg as well esp now that it has translation) cuz sometimes i can't figure out the teacher's handwritten characters when she corrects my homework but most of the time when i mimic her scribbles, pleco finds the right chacter. pleco is the best flavored lifesaver!
By notenufzzzs

Still using it

I keep on using it after 2014. And simply love it, totally recommended. The best it’s that you pay once and enjoy all the features even years later.
By A2_Miguelangel

The best Chinese language learning app

I've been studying Chinese for about six years now, and my language level wouldn't be where it is today without the help of Pleco. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to the development of this fantastic educational tool.
By djmixerbox


best and most versatile chinese dictionary out there,, blows anything else out of the water
By caelueo


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