Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.42
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 130.48 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: iOS 9.3+
Score: 4.5
From 5,196 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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Amazing app

The handwriting recognition is the best I've seen, and the app has so many features you don't need anything else to study. Really fantastic and worth every penny penny.
By t8robot


I use this app every day! It's the best dictionary ever! The ability for other apps to access the dictionary to look up words is great. Thank you!
By MeS 57

THE BEST, straight up

It's got it all. Not only a dictionary, but also flash cards, graded readers, real time OCR, everything you need to learn Chinese or make your way in China.
By crackinthekraken

The very best

This is the most reliable Chinese-English/English-Chinese dictionary I’ve come across. It’s updated with modern terms and classic idioms. Really excellent.
By bettynbear

quick and easy!

it’s not a dictionary honestly, I’d rather use it as quick reference how to use the word and phrase. In short you will know when you start downloading and using it
By eyeperture

Would hate to be without it!

Although my knowledge of Chinese is far greater than when I began to use Pleco, I still depend upon it on a regular basis. I also use the dictionary entries and their respective example sentences as a reader. I’ve found this to be a good way to fix meanings and syntactic patterns in my mind, to build vocabulary, to learn semantic nuances, etc..
By mudmop


I basically use only this app now because of its many functions. And it’s still free! Amazing.
By slibu

Super useful

This app is the best tool I have for learning Chinese
By Ldogpkeys16

Essential for learners at any level

I have only studied Chinese for 32 years, so I am only intermediate :), but I have used Pleco since it was offered on the Palm Pilot (google that :). I evaluate the new apps that emerge, which do fine at quick translations, but nothing matches the comprehensive tools in Pleco. You are not a serious learner without this in your quiver.
By TallPaulinSeattle

No Stroke Handwriting for Apple version

Pleco is the best Chinese app out here. It’s dictionary is amazing and it is very helpful! It would be better if all characters had the stroke order instead of just a few. But the main problem is that pleco on apple/iOS does not have a stroke/brush/handwriting option! Pleco needs to make a brush for its apple version because now I can’t write!
By WySidds


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