Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.59
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 83.05 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: iOS 11.2+
Score: 4.74
From 1,194 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 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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Pleco is largely up to date with modern words and the app makes it very easy to navigate to the definitions of related characters in several ways and across different dictionaries within the app. They have been very receptive to feedback about missing entries. All in all a great app. I also like being able to add words to the user define dictionary when I don't find them in the provided dictionaries, such as with slang words. It would be nice if more such vocabulary were already included. A minor change more recently (as of Feb 2021) is a bit distracting. When I open the all, my whole iPhone screen dims to black then fades in to show the app. It didn't use to so that. The first time I opened the app after updating, I thought there was something wrong with my phone.
By Mbo237572

Simply the best

No better or more important tool for learning Chinese. Indispensable. Most necessary app in China after WeChat.
By Gerbilkit

Pleco is Truly a 5 Star

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

Must have for serious Chinese learners

Great tool to learn and practice Chinese. A bit pricey, but money well spent.
By cibeerico

Great tool for language learners

I have found this quite helpful in learning pronunciation, new words and characters. I like how each tone has its own color. The design is thoughtful, developers are responsive, and they don’t run a subscription model. Highly recommend!
By Bertrand Belacqua

own it since 2008?

the chinese i know i learned from using this app. easy to use. great studying tool great dictionaries great bundles great fast response support
By cuban1963

The best Chinese-English dictionary.

I’ve used the Pleco dictionary for many years and It is fabulous. I purchased many of the add-Ins such as extra animated stroke order, more male and female speaking, Tuttle dictionary, and more. I’ve used its flash cards as a way to save favorites for my review. The support is also excellent. Also, I’ve used this app over the years on multiple new phones and transferring the dictionary along with purchased add-ons over to the next phone works wonderfully, even when I had 3 separate registration IDs. I’m living in China now and would be lost without this dictionary. Over the years I’ve tried others, but this is the best for iPhone as well as android, as I’ve had both (multiple times) and transferring the app and all the add-ons worked flawlessly. Oh, in case I didn’t mention it, support is FAST and GREAT! Thanks, Pleco for this fabulous product.
By TNTz9

Don’t know how I did before I had Pleco

I barely remember the days when I had shoe boxes full of flash file cards. Now it is a lot easier to cram in more characters while at the coffee table, the doctor, the super market check out...Also I can now read novels on a level that would have taxed my patience looking up unknown characters in paper dictionaries. Also it is great to have not only Mandarin but also Kun and On readings. As of yet there are no Japanese, Korean, etc dictionaries but I dare to hope... This app is a boon, thanks for having it made that good!
By MatthiasSF

After 10 years still the best

I first got Pleco when I lived and taught English in China 10 years ago. I stopped practicing and recently started again. After trying several other language learning programs, I came back to Pleco and it’s hands down better than all the others. Thank you for the great tool!
By Clive Arius

Cantonese Dictionary is amazing!

Thanks so much for making this app for us Cantonese learners!
By Starcraft 1979


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