Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.20
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 126.38 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
  • App Ratings:
    4.5/5 ( 4,521 App Reviews)
  • Price:
Pleco Chinese Dictionary App Ratings: 4.5
Based on 4,521 App Reviews

Pleco Chinese Dictionary iOS App Details

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 100,000 frequently-updated entries, and our own PLC dictionary, with 78,000 more detailed entries and over 20,000 example sentences (with Pinyin). More than two dozen other dictionaries are available as free and paid ($) add-ons, including licensed titles from well-known publishers like Oxford, Longman, FLTRP, Tuttle, SLPH, and Commercial Press. • Powerful merged search: look up words by Chinese characters, Pinyin (spaces / tones optional), or English, with support for wildcards and full-text search. And no need to tediously flip between all of those dictionaries to find a word - just type in your search term and instantly get a combined, frequency-sorted result list. • Links and cross-references: easily look up character components, break down words into individual characters, look up lists of words containing a particular character, search across all dictionaries for example sentences containing a word, and even find synonyms / antonyms using our (experimental) free thesaurus add-on. • Gorgeous typography: see it for yourself in our screenshots - we think we're one of the best-looking Chinese dictionaries around. Alternate Kai/Song/Xing-style Chinese fonts are also available ($). • Mainland/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.


Pleco Chinese Dictionary iOS App Screenshots

iOS App Reviews

  • Saved my life for 5+ semesters of Mandarin study!!

    By georgiebot
    Pleco is such an intuitive, simple, amazingly powerful app. It was recommended to me by my aunt (who is a native Taiwanese speaker) and it has been my saving grace throughout an entire Mandarin minor. I highly recommend it to anyone at least relatively interested in Chinese, and it is invaluable to those who are serious about studying it.
  • Really solid choice for any Chinese student

    By friedonions
    I have studied Chinese for all four years of high school, all the way through AP Chinese. Pleco has been an invaluable resource for me and many of my classmates for help with both reading comprehension and writing. Not only does it have all or nearly all of the words and phrases used in a Chinese classroom setting, but it also has examples and alternate uses for all of them. Its interface is accessible and easy to use, which makes it perfect not only for homework, but for looking up little phrases you see around life or in conversation for curiosity. Pleco is an excellent Chinese dictionary, and an even better app. There is absolutely no reason for anyone with an iPhone to be using google translate for Chinese when Pleco is here, available offline, and free.
  • Great for Cantonese

    By A-Yuen
    In trying to learn Chinese, it seems like most resources are geared exclusively toward Mandarin. Not only does Pleco support Cantonese, it does is really, really well.
  • Best

    By hunnr
    Best Chinese dictionary ever. No one else need try to build another app—just quit your job. And apply to Pleco. I've learned Chinese since 2010, and the introduction of Pleco changed the game for Chinese-learners everywhere, permanently. I have taught chinese for the last two years, and now I'm in a PhD program taught in Chinese. Pleco is the ultimate tool for a learner, teacher, or enthusiast. Impeccable design.
  • Simply the Best!

    By TheEarlGuy
    This is by far the best Chinese dictionary in the App Store.
  • Top notch dictionary for the aspiring Chinese learner

    By Frederick Twigg
    This dictionary is easily the best dictionary to have in hand when studying Chinese. I used the basic free version for 2 years as my constant reference for both summers in spent traveling in China and for language studies while on the bus, in a coffee shop, or listening to podcasts in Chinese. After adding the basic paid features package, I get even more out of Pleco. Particularly the document reader and flash card system are my most frequently used add-ons. It's great to just snap a picture and have instant access to just tap on a character and see the translation. Great for help with restaurant menus, short articles, and signage. It made 上海博物館 much more enjoyable. Finally, I'll add that I love that the Pleco team is constantly improving their app. The singular complaint that had sent me to other sources in the past was the lack of parts of speech, and the occasional lack of example sentences for some less common words; making it hard to understand without the sufficient context. With the newest update of the freely provided dictionary, parts of speech are being added with further example sentences! Pleco is easily the first choice of Chinese -English dictionary for any user at any price point. About me: Intermediate Chinese Level Primarily a self-studied learner with the great help of podcasts and apps like Pleco! Pleco user for more than 3 years (I think?)
  • Life saver

    By Ryina Chuu
    This is an amazing app! Especially if you are trying to learn Chinese!!! Not only does it understand simplified and traditional characters, it also understands any Chinese slang and idioms and translated in English for you. They provide voice of how to say the word, sample sentences and any phrases that the one character may also be contained it. I also purchased the reader extension and I use it all the time to read Chinese novels from the web. I can pull up any novel and hit the characters I don't recognize and it'll pop up the English translations. My Chinese would not be as good as it is now without this app!! Thank you developers for all your hard work!!!! 🙏❤️
  • The best Chinese to English app

    By Ming Yuan Zhong Wen Xue Xiao
    This is the best one of my favorite apps, mainly because it's so efficient and allows me to pass my classes This app has also been a great aid for many of my friends and helped me improve my English
  • Very helpful friend

    By Hmmm update?
    I love this app. It has helped me so much with learning Mandarin. Thank you!!
  • Amazing, can't live without it!

    By Adrian & Rebecca
    I love this app.