The CEDICT project was started by Paul Denisowski in 1997 and is maintained by a team on mdbg.net (a website registered for the purpose by Dutchman Dennis Vierkant) under the name CC-CEDICT, with the aim to provide a complete Chinese to English dictionary with pronunciation in pinyin for the Chinese characters.
CEDICT is a text file; other programs (or simply Notepad or egrep or equivalent) are needed to search and display it. This project is considered a standard Chinese-English reference on the Internet and is used by several other Chinese-English projects. The Unihan Database uses CEDICT data for most of its information about character compounds, but this is auxiliary and is explicitly not a part of the main Unicode database.
- Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese
- Pinyin (several pronunciations)
- American English (several)
- As of 8 April 2021[update], it had 119,494 entries in UTF-8.
The basic format of a CEDICT entry is:
Traditional Simplified [pin1 yin1] /American English equivalent 1/equivalent 2/ 漢字 汉字 [han4 zi4] /Chinese character/CL:個|个/
Example of a simple egrep search:
$ egrep -i 有勇無謀 cedict.txt 有勇無謀 有勇无谋 [you3 yong3 wu2 mou2] /bold but not very astute/
|1991||EDICT Japanese dictionary project was started by Jim Breen.|
|1997||CEDICT project started by Paul Denisowski, on the model of EDICT. Continued by Erik Peterson.|
|2007||MDBG started a new project called CC-CEDICT which continues the CEDICT project with a new license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License, allowing more projects to use it. Additionally a work flow  has been set up to streamline the process of submitting, reviewing and processing new entries.|
CEDICT has shown the way to some other projects:
- HanDeDict (~156,000 Chinese entries)
- CFDICT (~44,000 entries) for French
- Some older CEDICT data is also found in the Adsotrans dictionary.
- February 2012: ChE-DICC, the Spanish-Chinese free dictionary starts (currently beta)
- May 2017: CHDICT (11,000 entries) for Hungarian
- CC-Canto is Pleco Software's addition of Cantonese language readings in Jyutping transcription to CC-CEDICT
- Cantonese CEDICT features Cantonese language readings in Yale transcription and has Cantonese-specific words, many of which were taken from "A Dictionary of Cantonese Slang" in possible copyright infringement.
- "Unihan Database Lookup". unicode.org.
- "MDBG English to Chinese dictionary". www.mdbg.net.
- The original CEDICT license was for non-commercial use only, and did not allow entries to be added without permission.
- "CC-Canto - A Cantonese dictionary for everyone". cantonese.org.
- http://writecantonese8.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/cantonese-cedict-project/ "Later, I was guided to merge data from Cantonese Stardict, which is an electronic version of “A Dictionary of Cantonese Slang”, into Cantonese CEDICT"
- "StarDict". Stardict.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 18 November 2011.
- CC-CEDICT Editor Project home page
- more information on the formatting of CC-CEDICT
- MDBG free online Chinese–English dictionary uses CC-CEDICT, supports adding / editing entries and offers recent CC-CEDICT downloads.
- Flashonary is a Chinese-English Dictionary with integrated flashcards that uses CC-CEDICT.
- Example of CEDICT data for the han character " 中 ", use by Unihan (Section "Chinese Compounds")
- Chinese Dictionaries Discussion group about Chinese->"foreign language" dictionaries
- The homepage of Paul Denisowski, the founder of CEDICT
- www.clearchinese.com uses CEDICT
- Mandarin Text Project uses CEDICT
- HanDeDict @ Zydeo: Open-source Chinese-German dictionary
- CHDICT kínai-magyar szótár: Open-source Chinese-Hungarian dictionary
- Zhonga Chinese-English dictionary with handwriting recognition and pronunciation, uses CEDICT.
- HSK.HELP uses CEDICT