Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.30
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 127.61 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
Score: 4.5
From 4,678 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 include two lovely free ones built-in: the popular open-source CC-CEDICT, with over 110,000 frequently-updated entries, and our own PLC dictionary, with 125,000 more detailed entries, parts of speech, and over 25,000 example sentences (with Pinyin). More than two dozen other dictionaries are available as free and paid ($) add-ons, including licensed titles from well-known publishers like Oxford, Longman, FLTRP, Tuttle, SLPH, and Commercial Press. • Powerful merged search: look up words by Chinese characters, Pinyin (spaces / tones optional), or English, with support for wildcards and full-text search. And no need to tediously flip between all of those dictionaries to find a word - just type in your search term and instantly get a combined, frequency-sorted result list. • Links and cross-references: easily look up character components, break down words into individual characters, look up lists of words containing a particular character, search across all dictionaries for example sentences containing a word, and even find synonyms / antonyms using our (experimental) free thesaurus add-on. • Gorgeous typography: see it for yourself in our screenshots - we think we're one of the best-looking Chinese dictionaries around. Alternate Kai/Song/Xing-style Chinese fonts are also available ($). • PRC/HK/Taiwan-friendly: every part of Pleco supports both traditional and simplified characters, headword pronunciations can be shown in Zhuyin as well as in Pinyin, and we even support Cantonese search and display in our PLC dictionary. • Audio: Hear Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations for words and example sentences using iOS' free built-in text-to-speech system. We also offer add-ons ($) with native-speaker Mandarin and Cantonese recordings, plus higher-quality Mandarin text-to-speech system options. • Document Reader: bring in text from the clipboard and tap on words in it to instantly look them up. Upgrade ($) adds support for tap-lookups in text, HTML, DOC, DOCX, PDF, and EPUB files, and in embedded lyrics in songs and podcasts. • 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 15 years across 4 different mobile platforms. You can be confident that we'll still be fixing bugs and adding features for years to come. Our 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. cryptocurrecy coin



  • Can’t go without it

    By jacklim7373
    Pleco has been serving me for a long time by now and I still use it today.
  • Five stars

    By 戴三才
    I've been a daily pleco user for six years. It is my favorite app. Mike and the team are incredibly responsive. Get it if you are at all serious about learning Chinese.
  • Pleco is Truly a 5 Star

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

    By Colasante
    If I ever get an ipad, this app would also be the main reason for my purchase. I needed a dictionary that is stable and reliable, this app/dictionary has been around since the existence of the Palm Pilot before the year 2000, and purchases made then are still viable today. I have been through too many other apps where I pay money, only to find the developers phase out the app and make you pay a whole bunch of money all over again for the exact same dictionary. Not this one. The developer, Michael Love is the most responsive and helpful person I have ever known. Even in the rare instance I find a word that's not in there yet, or a small bug, he fixes it immediately. For anyone seriously interested in learning Chinese though, don't take my word for it, take it from the academic community. My Chinese culture and language professor from Sarah Lawrence college required me to purchase the in-app purchases for me to take his class, and to this day, I have graduated nearly 5 years now it is the only "textbook" I continuously use every day that I was required to buy for a college course. My Chinese friends all too often tell me that the phrase or word I just heard from them cannot be found in a dictionary. Pleco proves them wrong every time. My wife is Chinese and she uses this dictionary exclusively as well even for her to learn new Chinese words. The interface does have a lot of customizable settings that are worth learning, but it is time well-spent, and is surprisingly intuitive.
  • Best all-purpose language app ever

    By keligeng
    My college study of Mandarin and any proficiency I had was more than forty-five years ago. My mind and memory is a bundle of confused Wade-Giles, Yale & DeFrancis (all pre-Pinyin, I might add) and my character knowledge, or what’s left of it, was based all before simplified characters. But this app has allowed me to travel and be comfortable in China with my little and now ancient knowledge on five different trips in the last few years. The OCR and dictionary are almost magically efficient and the many other features are just wonderful. Thanks to all whose hard work make this app possible. I am going to three cities in May (Chengdu for the first time) and this app makes my stress in preparation diminish to mere dust. I cannot wait to see the next version! Is it even possible to be a better app than this is now?
  • Must Have Resource if You’re Learning Chinese

    By Kristabiner
    I just started learning Chinese and this app has been a fantastic companion to my textbooks and lessons. It’s an easy-to-use all-in-one resource featuring: Tons of different definitions for characters Keyboard and stroke input for dictionary search Audio files to learn pronunciation Character stroke animation Flashcards and Bookmarks for study aids If you’re serious about learning Chinese invest $30 in the Pleco Basic Bundle for an incredible expansion of capabilities.
  • Very handy!

    By Bokamba
    I recently used this app to help me transcribe a Traditional Chinese paper document into Simplified. It’s also my go-to dictionary.
  • Best Mandarin Dictionary

    By NickNumbr1
    That sums it up.
  • Pleco is the standard

    By Forrest McSweeney
    If you are new to Chinese studies, this is the standard. Everyone uses it. Download it and buy the New Century English Chinese dictionary. If you are good at Chinese, download it and buy the HanyuDacidian or the Paul Kroll. Another reviewer also made a good point. B&H “Present Day Organization of China” and Hucker’s Dictionary of Imperial Titles would just make this thing insanely good. I would buy both.
  • As Good As It Gets

    By signandsight
    In the early days of 2007, as I prepared to spend a semester abroad at Peking University, I decided to buy an electronic Chinese dictionary. The biggest reason for this was handwriting recognition, which, as any student of 汉语 knows, is a life changing technology. Back then, the iPhone was nothing but a carefully choreographed Steve Jobs presentation, so I asked if I could have my dad’s old (even then!) Palm Pilot. I installed Pleco plus the ABC dictionary plug in (well worth the $90) and translating Chinese newspapers was as easy as ordering dumplings. Fast forward *11 years* and half-a-dozen iPhones (plus an ill fated Android experiment) and I’m still impressed with the quality of service and software Pleco provides. They’ve given me an increasingly sophisticated tool and I haven’t paid one dime since I loaded that original version onto a grayscale Palm device. You will not regret buying anything from these fine people!