Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.71
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 82.84 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: iOS 11.2+
Score: 4.72
From 1,549 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 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


You NEED this app for chinese.

The free version gives you a very good dictionary wrapped in a perfect, customizable interface (with dark mode!). This is better than any physical or online dictionary, since it's right there on your phone / tablet. The paid dictionaries can be purchased separately from the bundles and add much more to the app's content, but although I would highly recommend purchasing them (with the professional bundle; it saves you hundreds of dollars), the built-in dictionary is already great.
By KevType

An Absolute Essential

I have been learning Chinese for almost three years and am currently a graduate student in Nanjing China. Pleco has been the single most important learning tool throughout my entire time learning Chinese, I owe SO much to this beautiful little app because the journey to while I am now (hsk6) would have been so so so so so much more difficult without Pleco. It's not even a question, YES YOU NEED THIS APP. And get some add ons if you're serious, I guarantee you if this app cost $200 it will still be worth every penny for people who are really serious about studying and improving their Chinese. Thank you Pleco, so much.
By wobrd

Love this app

Im learning mandarin chinese and this app is indispensable. i love the flashcards, the breaking down of characters into radical and, most important bit, THE STROKE ORDERS. Ive learnt to write a ton of characters naturally thx to that function. My chinese prof loves my handwriting. This app is amazing
By Notmuchofapoet

Good dictionary, subpar OCR

The dictionary is great. However, I paid for the OCR extension, and it’s okay. It doesn’t always capture the characters correctly, which is frustrating because it’s a paid feature. DeepL is a free AI-powered translator with an OCR feature for many languages. Its OCR is BETTER and MORE ACCURATE than Pleco’s. I seriously paid for something that is worse than a free app… :/
By Jitanned

Forces simplified characrers

It’s a fairly feature rich app, but it makes it impossible to turn off simplified Chinese. I don’t live in China and being forced to see them every time I look something up makes you think.
By goblin89

Insanely useful - the most important Chinese app

Pleco is the most important app for a native English speaker to learn Chinese. It is wildly fast, useful, and utilitarian. It also has a great user flow to mine words and turn them into flash cards in a spaced repetition system. In addition it has other tools to help you learn Chinese: - reader tool for websites - paid graded readers - OCR for scanning words and adding them to Flashcards - characters color coded by tones for better memorization - multiple paid dictionaries and audio options for enhanced learning Highly recommend!!!
By Thetrader221


Even the free version is great.
By Asta9099

Absolutely Amazing

I've been using this app extremely often, and it is just overall an extremely solid dictionary. A massive collection of words, definitions from multiple dictionaries, stroke order diagrams for essentially all of the relevant and common characters (28k diagrams, 5-6k or so common use characters), and a great character search feature. Perfect for learning how to read and write Chinese, my biggest problem area as a heritage Chinese speaker.
By 00100000spacebar

My go to electronic Chinese dictionary

Wish it didn’t cost so much for more dictionaries though
By Theliyahpaige

It’s amazing

Revolutionized my Chinese study. Get all the add-ons too, the Guifan Cidian especially is super worth it
By daninadress

More by Pleco Inc.