Pleco Chinese Dictionary

Pleco Chinese Dictionary

500,000 - 1,000,000 downloads

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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 14 years' experience making mobile Chinese learning software.

NOTE: if you're in China and can't access Google Play, see for alternate download sources.

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; 18 other wonderful dictionaries are available as paid upgrades. ($)

Fullscreen handwriting input: use the entire width of your device's screen to draw characters. Very accurate, with an engine licensed from China's leading maker of handwriting input systems. (basic version free, enhanced version $)

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. ($)

Flashcard System: create a card from any dictionary entry with a single button tap, import premade word lists, use advanced 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 $)

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 $)

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.

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 other documents 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.

Cantonese: display headword pronunciations + perform searches in Jyutping/Yale romanization. (free) We also offer Cantonese dictionary and Cantonese audio add-ons. ($)

Tablet-friendly: includes a 2-panel (results + definition together) interface that's perfect for tablets.

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 on a Palm Pilot 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

3.2.5/6: Bug fixes
3.2.4: Added custom toolbar color option in Settings/Colors
3.2.3: Re-themed for Android 5 and Material Design, and did it in a way that also works on Android 4. Also, new options for pagination in the reader and swipeable / reorderable tabs in the definition screen, plus various other minor tweaks + fixes.

Full version history at

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

    by Ira Yong on 07/01/2015

    Comprehensive and accurate. Excellent!

  • (51 stars)

    by Sinith Nat on 07/01/2015

    I love it

  • (51 stars)

    by Tom W on 07/01/2015

    I've tried more than a handfull of Mandarin learning apps. This one is awesome - its got it all. 5* Samsung S5

  • (51 stars)

    by Alexis Sudre on 07/01/2015

    Anyone that is taking a Chinese class or just wants to learn Chinese words use this. The interface is user friendly and you can write out a character if you're unsure about the pinyin. You can also search the definitions in English. So it works great.

  • (51 stars)

    by Matisse Hack on 07/01/2015

    A Chinese learners best friend. Seriously, this app is invaluable!

  • (51 stars)

    by Samuel Shee on 07/01/2015

    Has all your multilingual needs, with a clever and comprehensive dictionary and wide array of search methods. Sure the downloads are a little large, but for offline access it's well worth it. And it's all free!

  • (51 stars)

    by Ren Li on 06/01/2015

    Really good references to alternative words with easy to use selection

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