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 5,325 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.



  • Best Chinese App

    By 2911alison
    Best Chinese App!! - so flexible & well-designed. And developer is very responsive. Ten stars! Why did I ever bother to study Chinese before I had this app? PS: Great for visually impaired students because it allows you to see Chinese characters in very large size & multiple fonts.
  • Pleco Chinese Dictionary

    By whatsthepasscode
    Even as a native Chinese speaker, I still use the app to help me find specific/sophisticated words to use during essays. The app is very straight forward and easy to use, I recommend all looking to learn or enhance their Chinese skills to download and give it a try.
  • Best customer support I’ve ever seen from an app developer

    By Glædman54
    If you’ve read other reviews, you know to get this app your first day of studying Chinese, and that when you know you’re serious in studying it, you can purchase add-ons that are some of the best dictionaries ever compiled at good prices. I’ll just add that customer support is superb, the app is kept current, and if you ever need to install it on an Android device, you can port your purchases over.
  • Great App just 1 thing

    By Qi Hua Guo
    The app is great and all, but sometimes it won’t show you how to write the Chinese character.
  • Love the app but have one suggestion

    By Lou9871
    EDIT: thank you for the quick response! You guys are the best!
  • Wow!

    By I Bank
    I am a beginning student studying Chinese on my own and just found this app today after reading reviews online. I have barely been able to put it down since downloading it. So many words! I love that you can search by multiple language methods. There is also information about the characters that go into the words. I look forward to learning more about all that is available.
  • Awesome

    By Isaachou
    Best dictionary for learning Chinese, used it way back from the PDA era on windows mobile. Cost 100USD back then but completely worth every penny. Wish they would bring back the 3D Touch feature to automatically jump into clipboard reader
  • So helpful

    By fengyboy
    This is the best app for Chinese-English translations. I use it almost daily to learn and study more Chinese and everything it has is very helpful. I love that it lets you write in the character as well so if you don’t know the pinyin, you can still search it without having to search the character online. You can search almost any Chinese character or phrase in the app.
  • THE Dictionary for Chinese language learning

    By Dedguy7
    I don’t know how long I’ve Been using Pleco (I wanna say roughly since 2012-2013), but it has been an indispensable part of my journey, and I’m deeply thankful to the development team for this treasure. I’ve invested over the years on many add ons, hoping to add some more soon as it has been a while. The chinese-chinese dictionary’s have been very useful in more advanced readings.
  • Best dictionary

    By MattM8649
    The best Chinese language learning app by far !