Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.65
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 83.26 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: iOS 11.2+
Score: 4.73
From 1,345 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. (enhanced $) • Flashcards: create a card from any dictionary entry with a single button tap, import premade word lists, use advanced memorization techniques like SRS, and study in a variety of modes including fill-in-the-blanks handwriting and tone drills. ($) • Stroke Order Diagrams: animations showing you how to draw each character; 500 characters for free, 28,000 in paid ($) version. • User dictionaries: create new dictionary entries right on your device as you encounter new words. ($) • 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 two decades 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.


Pleco Chinese Dictionary ScreenshotPleco Chinese Dictionary ScreenshotPleco Chinese Dictionary ScreenshotPleco Chinese Dictionary ScreenshotPleco Chinese Dictionary Screenshot


🤔 Feature request

Please add shortcut actions! I’d love to be able to run a shortcut that will translate the word from English to Chinese. But then your shortcut action would allow me to specifically copy the pinyin to the clipboard. So some actions y’all could make are: Get pinyin from characters Get definition
By techaesthetic

Fantastic dictionary

I am a fourth-year student and this dictionary saves my butt all the time! It is super easy to use and gives great options for words.
By LattinB

the most indispensable app in my life - absolute game-changer with paid features + dict expansions

Totally agree with the other reviewer he said who said “I wish there was a version of this app for every language”. I first download in this app all studying Chinese for the first time in China and if used it throughout my continuing education and Master’s studies of Chinese and Chinese/English translation. If you’re just starting to fall in love with the Chinese language And don’t yet use this app, you truly have no idea what you’re missing until you start using it. Looking at my screen time per day, Pleco is frequently my most looked-at app Even while outside of China or off from school. Since I first started studying Chinese seriously with use of this app only a few years ago, I have “wasted“ immeasurable hours getting lost in dictionary cross-references for sport, just out of pure interest and fascination with the language, and cannot imagine the experience of foreigners were in Chinese from book study before the advent of the Internet and especially before such an app as Pleco was made available. using the app is a joy, and I have purchased nearly all of the extensive add-ons in terms of dictionary‘s and additional features that make the app a pleasure to use. This is an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in the Chinese language or who wants to decode certain Chinese language texts, and is even more indispensable for those engaged in language study, and is an absolute godsend for full time language, history, or translation students and scholar. Easily “thumbing” from term to term, example to term, word to character to character composition and derivative forms of that character, taking advantage of the wide scope of dictionaries made available with purchase, this app and this app alone makes it not only easy but utterly enjoyable to hash out more obscure meanings or uses of words or phrases, differentiation of similar terms with slightly different applications or tones of voice, or even just have fun exploring the vast expanse of knowledge the Pleco developers have put at your fingertips. If I were forced to choose to keep only only one app on my phone, without any hesitation I know it would be Pleco.
By _teni_

Best dictionary app ever

I have a BA in Chinese Language and this app has always been a huge part of my study and language training since I started learning. The inclusion of major dictionaries like the 漢語大詞典 or Paul Kroll’s Student Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese are what set this app apart from anything I have ever used. From the sample sentences, to the character breakdown and stroke order guide, this app is truly one of the most powerful learning tools for Chinese ever made. There are some things that I think could improve the app: grammar drills and a dictionary for 閩南語 and other dialects of China and the Chinese Diaspora.
By coolcid101

Best virtual English-Chinese dictionary for me so far :)

User interface is easy to use and adapt. If you remember the pinyin but forgot how to write it in Simplified/ Traditional chinese, just put it in and boom, come a list of results with similar pinyin and their respective meaning. I also usually find myself stumble upon sentences with weird sentences structure, looking up separate chunks of word, each with example sentences, greatly help in unclogging the sentence meaning. I have come a long way in my Chinese learning process thanks to this app, thank you developers :)
By Nelly_1019

Not Great on iPad

If you search the basic verb “zuò” on iPhone you get good results but not on iPad. Works well on iPhone but I study with iPad
By luissaybe

The best Chinese dictionary app

This point makes improving my Chinese so much easier. The number of words I can read and write have increased greatly with the help of Pleco. I have tried many other apps over the years, and I really think there's nothing else out there that beats this. I don't usually write app reviews, but this app truly deserves one. There are so many features about this app that I absolutely love: (1) Having many ways of searching: pasting/going in characters, searching by both Mandarin or Cantonese romanisation, handwriting, search by radical, searching by definition. This lets me search words from all different contexts, whether I heard the word and don't know how to write it, saw a word and don't know how to read it, or am looking for a word that fits a certain definition. (2) Tap to look up almost anywhere in the app: from the clipboard reader, to the example sentences, or even Chinese-to-Chinese dictionary definitions, this has made my life so much easier. I've also learned some extra vocab this way. (3) Support for both Cantonese and Mandarin. As a heritage speaker of Cantonese, I greatly appreciate a resource that helps me improve both my heritage language and Mandarin as well. For new users looking for Cantonese entries, simply download the Cantonese dictionaries from the add-on section. There are both free and paid dictionaries available. (4) Support for both simplified and traditional characters, which can be displayed based on your preference. (5) Support different romanisation systems: pinyin, zhuyin, jyutping and yale are all supported, and can be displayed based on your preference. There's a lot more to love about this app but those are my favourite features. The free version of this app is amazing as-is, but I've recently purchased some add-ons to expand the features and support the developers of an app I've been using for years and can see myself using for years to come. Many thanks to the developers for developing and maintaining this app over the years.
By user328328

The ultimate Chinese reference

Pleco was perfect for my first Chinese classes in high school, it was perfect when I was a Chinese language major, it was perfect when I went to university in China, and it’s still perfect now that I’m a translator. Pleco really does it all. Once recommended to me by my teacher, I now recommend it to my own students. I’ve been using this app for a decade and it has never once let me down. The free version is more than enough to meet your needs, but the add-ons (by this point I’ve purchased nearly all of them!) are absolutely worth every penny. I would never have survived as a student without this app! I’ve studied nearly a dozen languages and have never found another reference app even a fraction as comprehensive or as useful as Pleco is. In a perfect world, there would be an app like this for every language!
By KLS1314

The best

This dictionary is accountable for 90% of my Chinese learning. There is no comparably incredible dictionary for Spanish, the other language I’ve learned. Pleco is incredible.

This does not work

Pls make it easier to use
By kitty find people

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