Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

  • Category: Reference
  • Release Date:
  • Current Version: 3.2.19
  • Adult Rating: 9+
  • Developer: Pleco Inc.
  • Compatibility: Android
4,515 Ratings
$ 0

Pleco Chinese Dictionary 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 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 app screenshots

Pleco Chinese Dictionary app reviews

  • Best 5/5

    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! 5/5

    By TheEarlGuy
    This is by far the best Chinese dictionary in the App Store.
  • Top notch dictionary for the aspiring Chinese learner 5/5

    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 5/5

    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 5/5

    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 5/5

    By Hmmm update?
    I love this app. It has helped me so much with learning Mandarin. Thank you!!
  • Amazing, can't live without it! 5/5

    By Adrian & Rebecca
    I love this app.
  • The Best just became Untouchable 5/5

    By Theshadow0710
    For all those that have used Pleco before, we have come to the conclusion this is the all time best app for Chinese dictionary reference. For any level ranging form newbies to native speaker, Pleco is the gold standard. all time best chinese app ever. Basically the Apple of Chinese reference.
  • Great app 5/5

    By jmansker
    Must have for anyone learning Chinese.
  • Can't imagine life without it! 5/5

    By TechnoGranny47
    I've been using Pleco for many years, and I'm still always amazed at how useful and beautiful it is! I use it every single day and highly recommend it to anyone who is studying Chinese. I would also echo Other Lisa's praise...I, too, began with Palm OS and have been consistently awed by the stellar customer service!!
  • 11/10 WOULD RECOMMEND 5/5

    By Aownsgaisb
    This app is AMAZING. It's the only reason I was able to pass my Chinese classes. It's incredibly efficient, accurate and useful, and as a result,my Chinese has improved exponentially!
  • great app 5/5

    By zksky9
    one of the best Chinese dictionary apps out there!
  • Great 5/5

    By Iamsofansy2014
    Great app
  • most complete chinese dictionary ever. 5/5

    By Maung Thet Paing
    Can learn the every meaning of the sentences just by tapping on the word, and hear pronunciation of every sentence.
  • Absolutely essential 5/5

    By PF Duke
    Still the best. THE absolutely necessary app for studying Chinese and for professionals working in Chinese and English.
  • Wonderful app! 5/5

    By Carrolwd
    This app has become an essential part of my life. I rely on it heavily on a daily basis -- both when I'm studying Chinese in a textbook at home in the U.S., and when I'm learning Chinese on the ground in Guangzhou.
  • Amazing resource 5/5

    By Tang scholar
    A must-have for scholars and researchers. With the purchase of added dictionaries, my iPhone has replaced about 20 volumes of modern and Classical Chinese dictionaries. The opscan function is amazing.
  • Always saving my butt!! 5/5

    By JustRight720
    Pleco is always saving me when I communicate with friends in Asia!!
  • Wonderful resource! 5/5

    By Rockbridge31415
    I use whenever I read something closely, extensive dictionaries and a plethora of examples that help with nuance and context.
  • Amazing 5/5

    By Sparkymark110
    You will never be at a loss for words in China and around your Chinese friends again! The Add-ons are just icing on the cake. This is a must for any level but really helps at the intermediate level and up.
  • Fantasic!!! 5/5

    By Jvtang
    This is an indispensable tool for learning Chinese, and it knows more than me. I'm of Chinese heritage with fluent parents! So... This app helps me communicate (even though they know English). But seriously, get it. Edit: Their team is extremely dedicated and hardworking, always focused on bringing you the most updated technology for your Chinese language growth. Furthermore, if you plan on visiting China, they have a instant Chinese character recognition software that gives you the meaning of whatever you point the camera at!
  • Best Chinese Dictionary and Learning Tool 5/5

    By karljmiller
    This app has been the best purchase I have ever made in the AppStore. It has everything you need to learn Chinese. I have been using it daily for five years. I could never have learn Chinese as well as I have without it, and I lived in China for two years. Be sure to purchase the bundle. It is absolutely worth it.
  • Must-have for students of Chinese 5/5

    By Other Lisa
    I have been using versions of this app since it was Palm OS only. Pleco has been excellent for years and they keep improving (do spend the money on additional dictionaries if you have it and if not, the handwriting add-on is a must). The other thing that is so impressive is how consistently excellent their customer service is. I just changed phones and did not realize my ancient registration number didn't make the switch. Michael answered my email in 5 minutes with my old number, and my add-ons were good to go. Seriously these guys are great and their product is too-notch.
  • Still the best 5/5

    By jwilli01
    If you are a student of Chinese, you need this. The best Chinese learning tool and one of the best apps, of any kind, period.
  • Sine qua non. Period. 5/5

    By Shufei
    I just bought the 80 buck professional packet. I've never ever bought software for such a price. Pleco speeding up my research has made it worth it. It is a scholar's dream. There is simply nothing else in ios to even approach Pleco for Chinese language needs. Don't think of this as a dictionary; it's dictionaries, plural, more of a platform for language learning, reading, and research. Pleco has so many downloadable dictionaries, both Chinese and C-E, that you are sure to find information on any character, word, or phrase you can imagine. Many of these are free. The paid options are full on dictionaries, some of considerable academic heft. The app is customizable from top to bottom, especially the GUI, making eye strain impossible. Tying these features together, along with an impressive OCR, Flashcards, and several other tools, makes Pleco the power tool that can't be matched. (I've looked.) I can only hope Pleco continues to build this app to its furthest promise: I keep buying various dictionaries to expand this resource to its fullest potential. I will definitely buy and install the 漢語大詞典 whenever they convert it completely to 正體字. I'd also swoon with amazement if they add modules for the 說文解字、康熙字典等等 and some more specialty dictionaries such as 道教大詞典. Please, please, please, give us Kangxi in traditional! And more fonts, please. And more language specific dictionaries, such as Minnan, Xiang, and Tang pronunciation. These and an ability to practice brush strokes with paint would make this app perfect. Pretty please! If you are a Chinese speaker, learner, or scholar, there is simply nothing better than this out there. Pleco is a word banquet. Get it.
  • Great 5/5

    By 53 G-Pa
    Even the free version gets my 5 stars. Helped so very much during my year in China.
  • Best Chinese dictionary 5/5

    By Ggghigfhjbgffcgvhybjh
    You will not find another honest, useful, feature-packed dictionary as this one.
  • Incredibly Useful App 5/5

    By beaver3434
    I am minoring in Chinese and this has came in handy more times than I can count. I recently traveled to China where I was able to utilize the app to have more in depth conversations with people. The add ons while kind of pricey were more than wort their value especially character recognition and flashcards. I hope that they make a version for Japanese!
  • BEST Chinese dictionary app! 5/5

    By Twowithnature
    Super usable, has Mandarin and Cantonese, and the flash card system is definitely worth the money. Unparalleled in the world of Chinese learning apps! I freakin love Pleco.
  • Awesome app 5/5

    By Pbody999
    I love the flash card and audio dictionary features.
  • Best Chinese dictionary app 5/5

    By Tim 26
    Paid add ons well worth it too.
  • Outstanding! 5/5

    By Itouch girl123
    Excellent and intuitive.
  • Great Chinese Language App! 5/5

    By Bill-from-SF
    Great Chinese language app, both for vocabulary learning and development, and for learning written Chinese with character writing and stroke order.
  • Excellent 5/5

    By Primate1
    This app is an essential component in my daily study of the Chinese language.
  • Best app I have 5/5

    By Adamant99810291
    This is the most useful app for anyone studying Chinese.
  • Excellent app 5/5

    By Ilovepie10
    Helps greatly with learning Chinese. Indispensable in a Chinese speaking country.
  • Still the best 5/5

    By KWagle
    I first downloaded this in the year of iPad, on the recommendation of Jon Singer, and it continues to improve with every version. Stroke order diagrams make it easy to learn to write, but the OCR works so well that I continue to skip my handwriting practice.
  • Excellent execution. Smooth, easy to use. 5/5

    By Jnaeem
    A must have if you're learning Chinese. Many useful features available for free, and great add on features and dictionaries as well. Very simple interface and easy to use. Thank you everyone at pleco for such a helpful tool! I'm currently living in China and would be lost without it!
  • Amazing! 5/5

    By ChenYaoLong
    Definitely the go-to app for Chinese class or any other daily need for Chinese
  • Essential tool for China 5/5

    By Monkeymoe1021226775635
    Lived in Shanghai for 6 months this spring and Pleco was my go to tool when I just couldn't find the right word. Miles better than any other chinese-english dictionary app!
  • The best 5/5

    By crichannn
    Hands down the best Chinese dictionary app period
  • Excellent Dictionary 5/5

    By DAP1000
    A truly useful and easy to use dictionary. Support is fantastic.
  • BEST 中文Tool! 5/5

    By Der Orgelmeister
    Without question, this is the BEST Chinese tool I have ever seen. So much more than a dictionary. The free capabilities are great for anyone dabbling in Chinese, but if you are a serious learner, you must purchase this. You will not regret it!
  • Fantastic, functional app 5/5

    By petesavage
    One of the best. Updates are great!
  • Awesome- best for Chinese 5/5

    By Shadowlands
    Awesome- best for Chinese
  • Awesome 5/5

    By Ryuko098
    This is the best Chinese dictionary & learning app on iOS.
  • Pounds of dictionaries and no ads! 5/5

    By WowNiser
    Chinese language study, research, multiple dictionaries and quick reference all in one. Literally pounds of books!
  • Best dictionary ever 5/5

    By Plasue
    I use this app all the time for learning chinese. I can't imagine not having it.
  • Best app for learning Chinese 5/5

    By Conert
    It's the best
  • Always the best 5/5

    By Johnnytime
    Been using this app since windows mobile days

Pleco Chinese Dictionary app comments


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