Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.28
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 140.12 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
  • App Ratings:
    4.5/5 ( 4,639 Reviews)
  • Price:
Pleco Chinese Dictionary App Ratings: 4.5
From 4,639 Reviews

Pleco Chinese Dictionary App Description

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

  • a lifesaver

    By Sophieleeajh12
    Pleco is extremely useful for an intermediate Chinese speaker like me. I like the features, especially the Zhuyin, flashcards, and handwriting. It’s easy to use and understand with the audio and Pinyin. One suggestion I have is to add some Hokkien dictionaries and audio. I know that there are people who’ve been asking for that addiction since 2014, and it would be really helpful for some of us.
  • Stellar 星!!!!

    By Nick M.777
    This app has helped me learn 70 words solidly, through Spaced Repetition, in 7 days. Worth it to buy the big bundle, especially for the Flashcards. Also love the stroke order and the native speakers, make and female to really hear how the words are pronounced. Thank you for an absolutely incredible app!!
  • Perfect

    By Sara nkn
    It's just amazing, even has the names of Chinese villages
  • Disappointed

    By Ajtcanvaz
    I tried to download this app but it just won’t load. Either the app is incompatible with apple products or the program is too complex to download.
  • Revolutionized my study of Chinese…again

    By naktvwatcher
    I read a lot of obscure texts, and Pleco makes all the difference. It helps me look up words fast, then quickly create flashcards to build new words into my vocabulary. The one thing I regret is that for the past few years I cheaped out on dictionaries, and didn’t buy many of them. My reasoning was that since I had paper versions of them, why buy the electronic versions? Big mistake. This month I bought the Grand Ricci, the Hanyu Da Cidian, the Chengyu dictionary—well, basically all of the big ones. I’m really glad I did. When you read a text, it finds complex compounds that you would never think to look up in a bigger dictionary. So, if you use Chinese in your profession, get Pleco and buy those dictionaries. Oh, here’s some dictionaries I wish it had: Hucker, A Dictionary of Official Titles; Brunnert and Hagelstrom, Present Day Political Organization of China. Update: still love it like crazy. I really also would still very much like to see Brunnert and Hagelstrom (which is in the public domain) and Hucker. Lately I've really gotten into working systematically with flash cards. It's a great feature!
  • Best Chinese Dictionary in the App Store

    By Sarchale
    There’s a few things that make Pleco great, but the things that stand out to me are the adaptability to real-life situations through things like the OCR and Character Handwriting Add-ons, not to mention the massive character dictionary. I really love this app!
  • A must for learners

    By Bananaguy7
    This app is so helpful for Chinese learners. It provides a multitude of pssoble terms you may be searching for, parts of speech, example sentences for use, and all possible definitions/uses of a particular term or character... all for free! My only complaint would be that the voice that reads it aloud is somewhat robotic, and does not do 儿化音 correctly (点儿 should be pronounced diǎr, not diǎn er, etc). However, this is a very, very minor issue in a great app. If you are learning Chinese, you MUST get this app. It is a necessity.
  • Excellent Reference & Learning Tool

    By landi3337
    I’m an advanced Mandarin speaker/reader of over thirty years and I still use this app constantly. I’ve recommended it to countless other students who all love it. The clipboard reader function is invaluable. I love this app.
  • Amazing

    By dapicester
    A must-have for everybody interested in Chinese.
  • The best. A must-have for the Sino学生

    By Dialextic
    I give this 10,000 stars. I began using the paid version of Pleco in college on a Palm Pilot over 15 years ago, just about as long as the app has been available, and I still study the language and continue to use this app. This app changes how quickly you can look up words, reducing the (sometimes futile) 10-minutes-long ordeal of looking up a single character in a paper dictionary, to instants. That function alone makes the app invaluable. Being able to see the radicals and their respective meanings is also supremely useful. Everything that has been added since is bonus — the reader, the etymology, the flashcards. Throughout the years I’ve encountered remarkably few bugs, and I have always been easily able to transfer my Pleco registration to every platform/smartphone I have used.