Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

500,000 - 1,000,000 downloads

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LIMITED-TIME PROMO: Get a free copy of our Chinese handwriting recognizer add-on if you download now. (we mean it about "limited-time" - we plan to end it with the upcoming release of version 3.0, though you can keep using handwriting after that if you've already activated it)

Pleco is the ultimate Chinese learning companion - an integrated Chinese English dictionary / document reader / flashcard system with fullscreen handwriting input and live camera-based character lookups, from a company with over a decade of experience making mobile Chinese learning software.

Major features: ($ = paid add-on)

• Great dictionaries: the free app comes with two dictionaries - CC-CEDICT and our in-house "PLC" dictionary - that between them cover 130,000 Chinese words and include 20,000 example sentences with Pinyin; 12 other wonderful dictionaries are available as paid upgrades.

• Live Optical Character Recognizer: look up Chinese words in the dictionary simply by pointing your device's camera at them, or by scrolling around a still image. ($)

• Handwriting input: use the entire width of your device's screen to draw characters. Very accurate, with a recognition engine licensed from China's leading maker of handwriting input systems. ($ but free for a limited time)

• Flashcard System: create a card from any dictionary entry with a single button tap, import premade word lists, use advanced memorization techniques like SRS (spaced repetition), and study in a variety of modes including fill-in-the-blanks and tone drills. (simple version free, full-featured $)

• Powerful search: look up words by Chinese characters, Pinyin (spaces and tones optional), or a combination, with support for wildcards and full-text search.

• Cross-referencing: tap on any Chinese character / word in any dictionary entry to bring up its definition.

• Audio Pronunciation: instantly hear a native-speaker Mandarin audio recording of each Chinese dictionary headword; recordings are available for over 34,000 words. (single-syllable free, multi $)

• Voice Recognition: look up words by speaking them into your device's microphone. (free)

• Stroke Order Diagrams: animations showing you how to draw each Chinese character; over 20,000 characters are covered. ($)

• Document Reader: open a Chinese-language text file and look up unknown words in the dictionary simply by tapping on them. ($) You can also look up characters on web pages through "Share" and in DOC/RTF/etc through the clipboard. (free)

• Mainland- and Taiwan-friendly: supports traditional and simplified characters (in dictionary definitions, stroke order diagrams, searches, OCR, and handwriting), and supports Zhuyin as well as Pinyin for pronunciation display. Experimental Cantonese support too. (dedicated Cantonese dictionary coming soon)

• Tablet-friendly: Android 4 optimized, includes a 2-panel (results + definition together) interface that's perfect for tablets, and we've also tweaked our layouts around tablet-sized screens.

• No ads: we won't even nag you about buying add-ons.

We also offer excellent customer support - send us an email and see for yourself - and an active user community at

We've been selling mobile Chinese dictionary apps since 2001, and our sales and customer base have been steadily growing for 13 years across four different platforms. We take good care of our longtime users, too - people who bought the Oxford dictionary from us in 2001 can still use that dictionary on their brand new Android phone in 2014 without even having to pay an upgrade fee. You can be confident that we'll still be fixing bugs and adding new features for many years to come.

Paid add-ons can be transferred to another device like any other paid app; load the free version of Pleco on your new device, go into "Add-ons" and tap "Restore Purchases."

If you already own Pleco on another OS, see for upgrade / license transfer options.

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Recently changed in this version

2.4.16/17/18: Fixes for a couple of (mostly OCR-related) crashing bugs + unreliable breakdowns of some long searches; see the version history section of the instruction manual ( for a full list.

Our big version 3.1 update is about to start beta testing, for updates see our discussion forums at or our Facebook / Twitter accounts (both "plecosoft").

Comments and ratings for Pleco Chinese Dictionary
  • (74 stars)

    by Shen Shen on 18/04/2014

    This the best app. Better than Hanping. If I can,I will vote for 100stars

  • (74 stars)

    by Ernest Tay on 18/04/2014

    Helps me a lot with my Chinese studies!

  • (74 stars)

    by Keishla Rotger on 17/04/2014

    Love that im able to look up words and even scan a document and know what im reading with accuracy.

  • (74 stars)

    by Best Cherdwetchaphong on 16/04/2014

    love it

  • (74 stars)

    by Reginald Benade on 16/04/2014


  • (74 stars)

    by Boon Leng Teo on 15/04/2014

    Has helped me most times to find meaning. Then I get drawn into exploring further.

  • (74 stars)

    by Sean Ng on 15/04/2014

    Suck excelant