Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.50
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 130.76 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: iOS 9.3+
Score: 4.74
From 1,054 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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Better for Android

I’m not sure why there is such a difference but the Android version has many of the paid features like handwriting for free. $29.99 is ridiculous.
By Expensive add-on


The app “Pieco” is great!!! I love it. I like how you could search the characters and find their meaning and a sentence example. Just a tip... It would be awesome if you could add more like a camera where you could take a picture of your Chinese textbook, than get a translate. Overall it is great but could use more work.
By i won"t tell you!

Disappearing Radicals

I don’t understand why the app was updated to where radicals disappear when trying to search characters by hand. It’s incredibly frustrating when you are automatically cut off from your search because you need more time to write. I used to be a fan of Pleco, but now I’m seeking out alternative apps. I encourage other users to do the same until this issue is fixed.
By xididjenwowixnc cisowxncndmsm

This is the worst evvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr

You can only use English meaning to search and cannot use hanyu pinyin .
By bdhdhrhd

Excellent library!

I really like Pleco! I’ve purchased a lot of dictionaries and expansion packs already, a small fortune. I really only have one complaint... Please allow backup with synchronicity via iCloud and be done with it. The ridiculously confusing backup and transfer mentod between my iPad and iPhone is killing me. I’ve tried endlessly to keep the two in agreement to no avail. Every other app I use is seamless with iPad and iPhone. This app is just ridiculous when it comes to backup and synchronicity. Otherwise, I really love using Pleco! Thank you for the good work!
By daoofphoenix

Thank you for this app!

Pleco is the best app for anybody who is learning Chinese. When I lived in China for college this app let Chinese people give me directions when I got lost, if I didn’t understand what they were saying this app was the mediator, and I got a perfect translation every time. Thank you so much for your hard work in designing this app.
By Ambyrs

Really helpful

Dear mommy, This app is really helpful because it helps me do homework since the teacher can’t help me.
By livia👩🏻

Excellent DICTIONARY for learners!

First and foremost, Pleco isn’t meant to be a translation app. It’s a dictionary. I’ve seen one star reviews complaining about how rubbish a translation app it is, and that’s true entirely because it totally isn’t even a translation app. It’s a dictionary/character resource, and I love it! I have been using Pleco for a good five years already. It definitely has made learning Chinese a lot easier, being able to look up the individual meanings of characters has made my understanding of how this language works much better. I use the handwriting function the most, and it’s super useful. I owe my survival in China almost entirely to this app.
By sehwyl

Interesting definitions

So I look up the word for “black person” which is 黑人,only to see two definitions, one is the correct definition and the other says a 黑人 or black person is an illegal, unregistered person in hiding... How is this even a definition? It appears to be someone’s opinion rather than a objective definition of the word and it’s distasteful. This dictionary isn’t helpful, most of the time it’ll have you sounding stupid.
By 梦希ang

If serious, get it, give them your money

I studied in China for a year, at this point I think I’m almost at an HSK 5 level (out of 6), and honestly I think I owe that to Pleco. I don’t know where I would be without this thing. I bought the professional bundle, it’s super easy to look up words and get a bunch of examples, add to Flashcards and test yourself in a variety of different ways, they even have a BUILT IN WEB BROWSER where I can find any Chinese article I want, tap on words I don’t know, and immediately it pulls up a little definition of it on the web page. And then I can add it to my Flashcards from there. It’s AWESOME. Also they have a ton of short stories (“graded readers”) and abridged Chinese classics fit to different levels of students (500 words, 1000 words, etc.) to help your reading comprehension. If you’re serious about studying Chinese, you are making your life significantly harder by not getting this app. I just wish they had an equivalent for other languages 😢
By caorach


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