Something that can be useful for an intermediate language student of a language is a monolingual learner's dictionary, which uses a restricted set of vocabulary to define a much larger set of headwords. A particularly impressive example of this for English is Learn These Words Dictionary, which starts with just 60 vocabulary words and builds up in several layers to the 2000 words used in the definitions in the 70,000 Longman English Dictionary. Does anything like this exist for Chinese?

  • Thanks. I'll take a look at these when I have time. Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 2:42

3 Answers 3


i would recommend the 國語辭典. it’s authoritative, maintained by the 教育部, of taiwan:


further, you can download it freely (cc 3.0 licence):



In China,students commonly use physical book of 新华字典 and 现代汉语词典,they don't have official online website. In fact,the work about dictionary digitization in mainland China is very poor.Most people have to use Baidu or other search engine.

As a native speaker,汉典 is a good tool for me,but I think it is maybe difficult for non-native speakers,because much content provided you will never use.


Hong Kong has an official monolingual Primary Education character-to-word dictionary


It has an English mode too (click 轉往:中英對照香港學校中文學習基礎字詞 at the top of the page)

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