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.

What’s New

Version 3.2.48

Bug fixes + data file updates.

Stay safe, everyone.

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
162 Ratings

162 Ratings

ss12932 ,

King of Chinese learning apps

Unquestionably the best and only resource you will ever need for Chinese learning. Despite the small hefty fee you pay for the Main dictionary (which is well worth the price), this app has single handedly helped advance my Chinese learning to a large extent, a whole dictionary easily accessible with a touch of your smartphone in your pocket unlike the old times where I have to manually search each character which was laborious and time consuming. With the integration of web reader, this has allowed me to read Facebook/instagram posts with just one touch (pop up assistance) and this has allowed me to effectively improve my reading and pronunciation skills (click pop up to draw up the word and pronunciation). When I encounter any words in a newspaper I can just scan the character or use pinyin/hand write the character in to look up.

Whoever invented this app deserves an award because this has been the greatest Chinese app ever made, no other app does it better.

The Hesitant Cocinut ,

Essential and wonderful resource for anyone and anything Chinese

I use this app every day multiple times. I find it essential. It is accurate and well organised. I find it’s adding well worth the extra expense - as is the initial cost of getting a fully-registered copy. I am still exploring its capabilities. I find it’s OCR system a really good addition and I also use this, sometimes many times a day. I used to live quite often in China and I would have been struggling without it. I intend to stay often there in the future where it will improve communication with my wife who is Chinese as well as her relatives and my Chinese friends. Whilst I have been living in the UK, I still use it frequently to understand Chinese messages on such diverse apps as WeChat, Sina Weibo, and QQ. I strongly believe this app has repaid my investment in it many times over in the 9 years or so I have had it.

nameNick09789 ,

Brilliantly made app

No other single app on my phone is used more than Pleco. It’s even the first app in the quick icons at the bottom of my screen. It’s an amazing app and I’ve made good use of the for purchase add-ons and customised the app exactly how I want it. I love mandarin and you can tell the developers truly love the language too as so much is designed from a language learners point of view. It makes learning accessible and I really enjoy learning with the Pleco app. There are some new features I would like to see in the next big update but I feel guilty for even thinking about extra features, there’s already lots packed in, Thank you so much!

In-App Purchases

Basic Bundle
Discounted pack of our most popular add-ons.
Professional Bundle
Larger set of features plus 6 dictionaries.


Pleco Inc.
137.1 MB

Requires iOS 9.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.



Age Rating
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humour
In-App Purchases
  1. ABC Chinese-English Dictionary £19.99
  2. ABC English-Chinese Dictionary £9.99
  3. Mandarin Audio (female) £4.99


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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