Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.26
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 127.54 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
  • App Ratings:
    4.5/5 ( 4,588 App Reviews)
  • Price:
Pleco Chinese Dictionary App Ratings: 4.5
Based on 4,588 App Reviews

Pleco Chinese Dictionary 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 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.


Pleco Chinese Dictionary App Screenshots

App Reviews

  • Gold standard

    By Christian-stone
    Live in China or study Chinese? This is the best tool. Use it all the time. I do wish there was a character writing pad built into the app. I don’t like to keep apples character recognition keyboard installed, but I would like it only in this app when I DON’T want to look something up by radical or pinyin or by taking a photo.
  • Perfect if you want more than just a Google Translation!

    By Patpag
    Gives detailed and multiple meanings of chinese characters, words and says. A must if you want to learn this language rather than just doing a Google or Bing translate!
  • Fantastic feature set

    By Milotic1234
    When I first got this app, I was expecting a simple dictionary. But the OCR, paste board, and flashcard features make this so much better (OCR in particular blew my mind when I first learned about it through this app)
  • Indispensable tool for learning Manarin or Cantonese

    By yangsanggunja
    This suite of study tools is so much more than just a dictionary, it has everything you need to make sense of oceans of Chinese. And they keep making it better and better! The suite of available dictionaries keeps growing and growing, and I just love the text reader and the live augmented reality dictionary where you point your phone’s camera at something around you and get the definition on the screen like magic is amazing. Recently I’ve started using the flash card functionality and it’s also great. Some of the add ons are not cheap, but for me it’s all money well spent! I’ve been using Pleco for years now and it just keeps getting better and better! Kudos to the development team. If you want to seriously study any flavor of Chinese, you NEED this suite of study tools!
  • A "must have" Chinese dictionary

    By PRWindowCleaner
    This mobile version works better than many of the online desktop dictionaries I have used. If you are trying to learn Chinese, you need this.
  • I can't imagine not having this app!

    By Ruthie the Magma Cube
    I am studying Chinese, and this app is an immense help!!!! I have had it for maybe a year now. I used it all the time during a visit to China. The definitions are very accurate, and it is very easy to search for a word. You can search pinyin-Chinese, Chinese-English, and English-Chinese very easily. Also, everything downloads onto your phone so you can access definitions instantly, wifi or not! I've bought the ancient small seal script. It's amazing! It's very accurate. The small seal script characters are from the Qin dynasty, when the first emperor standardised Chinese characters. They look just like traditional characters in use today!!! (In Taiwan) It's a great resource for studying ancient script, and it's only $5! I've also bought the entomology thingy. It's $30, but worth every cent! It's amazing!! It's has super detailed info on the histories of thousands of characters. One thing to note: If you have an iPhone, you don't have to buy a keyboard that allows you to draw characters. You can just turn the Chinese keyboard on in the settings. However, pleco's keyboard is full screen, and more accurate than iPhone's keyboard. I use the google translate app to take pictures of characters and translate them, but it does a pretty bad job. It takes quite a few minutes. Do you really think I'll believe there's clothes, sand, and glue in my milk ingredients list??? So if you need to take pictures of Chinese characters to translate, you should try Pleco's version. I've just tried the demo but it seems a LOT better. Thanks pleco!!!!! This app has made my Chinese-learning journey so much easier and enjoyable!
  • Love this app!

    By Ccf72
    I’ve been using this app for years now, and I absolutely love it. The app is an amazing Chinese dictionary with simplified and traditional characters. You have the option of typing the pinyin, writing out the character, or even voice search to find your definitions! I also like the little things like being able to look over your history of searches and saving favorite words (which can come in handy when listing ideas for Chinese baby names). PLUS, in all these years I haven’t seen a single ad, and the features I’ve described are all free! Update: Freezing issues are gone. Thank you! :)
  • Great

    By Goodmephisto
    Good dictionary
  • Absolute necessity for all Chinese learners

    By Johnny_friday34
    I have been learning Chinese for 10 years, and have lived in China for 3. Pleco has been by and large the most essential tool for me along the way. You can tell the team behind Pleco is very passionate about what they do, as there are constantly improvements being made. I have recommended this app to dozens of friends and will continue to do so. Thanks Pleco team!
  • 5 years and counting

    By Too many Bens
    I’ve been using Pleco as my primary study tool for five years now. Working on a Chinese-taught Master degree and still rely depend on it for looking up words and studying vocabulary. I would still recommend downloading the free version at least and buying the professional pack if you plan on studying beyond beginner level. Everyone should buy and learn to use the notecard system (unless you’re rocking Anki already). Make sure to turn on Spaced Repetition and include reviews for cards you don’t know until you get it right twice. The setting can be (are) confusing but merit thirty minutes exploring fully. If you are going for 古代汉语, you best download the 古代汉语大词典. For beginners, Pleco’s free dictionary is plenty but for advanced learners, stop using English and move over to a CH to CH dictionary. I like 现代汉语规范词典.