Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.31
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 127.69 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
Score: 4.5
From 4,755 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 18 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.



  • Excellent App - some regional differences at advanced levels

    By ZK77886
    Excellent App. A small caution, even throw the app supports traditional characters, the pronunciations are generally only given for Mainland China. If you are trying to use the App for Taiwan and maybe Singapore or US based Chinese speaking communities, you may see some differences . However there aren’t too many words with this problem- so this will only be evident on a pretty advanced level.
  • Pleco is Great

    By ItsSarahScott
    I have used Pleco for several years and love this app. If you are learning Chinese this app is the best!
  • Best app for Mandarin learners!

    By Amir.ebrahimi002
    Your app was suggested by our Chinese 老师 , now all the students are using it frequently, I say THANK YUO SO MUCH on behalf of many Chinese learners in our class!
  • Could there be a better Chinese dictionary?

    By Janice Tay
    Pleco is simply the best. I can lookup words while reading on the fly, copy and paste WeChat messages into the clip-reader, learn proper stroke order even for obscure characters, and add flash cards for chengyu. Terrific support from the company too.
  • A must have for anyone learning Chinese or traveling in China

    By Gir27
    Absolutely outstanding app, does everything I’ve ever wanted it to and more. Worth every penny.
  • You can transfer registration from Android to iOS now

    By fjfhhdhjv
    I'm glad Apple changed their policy.
  • 完美

    By Pat/帕特
    The ONLY app I have ever spent money on. The ONLY app I have ever taken the time to leave a review for. The ONLY app I have actually bought a new iPhone for. The ONLY app where the owner of the company personally helped me when I had ONE issue with it in almost TEN YEARS of using it. If you’re learning how to use Chinese, you’ll be learning how to use Pleco as well. 十全十美!
  • Best in Show

    By Jaybo2002
    Great app, it's the best. I’ve been using this app for nearly 20 years an it only gets better. 最好的! Best Chinese dictionary/reader/OCR available. 很棒!
  • The Best. Period.

    By anninchina
    Pleco Chinese dictionaries are easy to use, accurate, truly what you need no matter what stage you’re at in language learning. The basic dictionary is perfect. Until you get addicted to learning this language. At that point having dictionaries in Chinese helps you get the subtle nuances of meaning that straight Eng/Ch can’t give you. You can build the set that best suits your needs. I’ve been using Pleco for about 15 years now and it just keeps getting better. Other dictionaries simply can’t compare. (I got nothing for this review.)
  • Excellent for all levels

    By YasBean
    I have been using Pleco for over 10 years. At first, I thought of it as a novelty, but when I bought the Hanyu Da Cidian, everything changed. No longer did I have to mess with the index volume, then find the proper volume for the entry, then thumb through to find the entry, by which time, I had forgotten what I was reading. Pleco provides multiple dictionary entries on one screen. An added benefit is that the cost of Pleco versions of the HYDCD, and other dictionaries, is a small fraction of the hard copies. The interface is also very sophisticated.