Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

By Pleco Inc.

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date: 2009-12-17
  • Current Version: 3.2.47
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • File Size: 130.50 MB
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: Requires iOS 9.3 or later.
Score: 4.5
From 5,253 Ratings


NO SUBSCRIPTIONS; we offer additional dictionaries, graded readers, and other features as one-time purchases, but there are absolutely no subscriptions in our app. 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 offer two free built-in dictionaries: the popular open-source CC-CEDICT, with over 110,000 frequently-updated entries, and our own PLC dictionary, with 125,000 entries, parts of speech, and over 25,000 example sentences (with Pinyin). More than two dozen other dictionaries are available as free and paid ($) add-ons, including licensed titles from well-known publishers like Oxford, Longman, FLTRP, Tuttle, SLPH, and Commercial Press. • Powerful merged search: look up words by Chinese characters, Pinyin (spaces / tones optional), or English, with support for wildcards and full-text search. And no need to tediously flip between all of those dictionaries to find a word - just type in your search term and instantly get a combined, frequency-sorted result list. • Links and cross-references: easily look up character components, break down words into individual characters, look up lists of words containing a particular character, and search across all dictionaries for example sentences containing a word. • Gorgeous typography: see it for yourself in our screenshots - we think we're one of the best-looking Chinese dictionaries around. Alternate Kai/Song/Xing-style Chinese fonts are also available ($). • PRC/HK/Taiwan-friendly: every part of Pleco supports both traditional and simplified, headword readings can be shown in Pinyin and Zhuyin, and some dictionaries even support Cantonese. (note: stroke order diagrams do support traditional characters, but use PRC order) • Audio: Hear Mandarin and Cantonese for words and example sentences using iOS' free built-in text-to-speech system. We also offer add-ons ($) with native-speaker Mandarin recordings and higher-quality Mandarin TTS. • Document Reader: bring in text from the clipboard and tap on words in it to instantly look them up. Upgrade ($) adds support for tap-lookups in text, HTML, DOC, DOCX, PDF, and EPUB files. We also offer graded readings ($). • OCR: look up words simply by pointing your device's camera at them, or by tapping on them in a still image. ($) • 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 19 years across 4 different platforms. You can be confident that we'll still be fixing bugs and adding features for years to come. 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.



  • Sorta good

    By someone………
    It’s good, but needs improvement. Maybe try separating traditional and simplified. But Pleco helps with my Chinese homework! Thank you!
  • Simply the Best!

    By TheEarlGuy
    This is by far the best Chinese dictionary in the app store! No subscriptions; simply buy what you need. Truly the best value in the app store!
  • Painful to setup flashcards

    By guillocolombiano
    I regret I paid for the flashcards add on. It’s very hard to understand the many options and get the app working for you. After a full day of reading manuals I give up.
  • App instantly closes

    By MithrasC
    The app itself is great but the past few months the app has been closing itself instantly whenever I open. Tried reinstalling, waiting for patch at this point.
  • The best app as you learn Chinese

    By anninchina
    Pleco is the best set of dictionaries for learning Chinese (which is a never-ending process). It has helped me with everything from reading signs to learning how to write characters to remembering 成语Chinese proverbs. Flash cards are easy to add and the range of choices for how to review them makes them effective. At the beginning and right through advanced level, Pleco has been a godsend! I hear people going for other Chinese dictionaries and translation apps, mostly because they’re free or cheaper. Overall I believe every some are improving but honestly, if you’re learning the language, don’t even bother with them. I recently looked at one, and they didn’t even know that the example they posted was incorrect. Plus you may have to use multiple apps to cobble together a decent review system, and the support can’t compare. Pleco gets so many 5 star reviews because it’s excellent. If you have any questions or problems, their help is fast and real. Just get it.
  • Indispensable

    By Navaburo
    I’ve used Pleco for years. The app has kept up well with the times, and support is responsive. The handwriting recognition is the killer feature.
  • Amazing!!! Cross platform purchases included ❤

    By Eroox
    Let me start out by saying that this is the most useful app ever if you are starting out to learn Chinese. After I used this app for a while I decided that it was worth the money to spend on to unlock some of its more advanced features. One of the concerns I had however was that I use both my Samsung phone and iPad constantly in school. But I decided to buy for my phone. After a bit more exploration in the app I found out you can bring your purchase over!
  • Need to Add idiom search and colloquial add on

    By TheBusyDiva
    1.We need colloquial added bc English speakers do not know the right common words to use. 2. You need to allow us to search a sentence in English and translate to colloquial chinese 3. We need a MOST USED IDIOM LIST ADD ON.
  • Great app!!!

    By Bendchge
    my favorite app, has everything I needed, thanks you so much!!!
  • 👏👏👏

    By caorach
    I live in China, I bought the professional bundle, and I must say other than talking with Chinese people this app has contributed most to bringing me to reasonable fluency. The graded readers are super helpful, the flashcards are so customizable for anything you want to practice, it’s like every tool you would want in learning Chinese organized in one place. It was worth every penny. I seriously applaud the developers for making such a unique and quality product. Only wish there was something similar for other languages.