A statement issued through the 60-year-old star's agent said he "will no longer be working as an actor".
It said it was a "private decision" and he was "immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences".
Day-Lewis, who holds both British and Irish citizenship, won three best actor Academy Awards for roles in My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood and Lincoln.
Day-Lewis made his screen debut as a teenager in 1971, in Sunday Bloody Sunday.
He won his first Academy Award for best actor in 1990, after playing wheelchair-user Christy Brown in My Left Foot.
He then starred in The Last of the Mohicans (1992), In the Name of The Father (1993), The Boxer (1997) and Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York (2002).
He won his second best actor award in 2008, for playing oil man Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood, before winning a third award for his portrayal of the former US president in Lincoln (2013).
He was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2014.