His father, a Protestant advocate, sent him first to the academy of Puy Laurens, and afterwards to Saumur to study under Tanneguy Lefebvre. On the death of Lefebvre in 1672, Dacier removed to Paris, and was appointed one of the editors of the Deiphin series of the classics. In 1683 he married, Anne Lefèvre, the daughter of his old tutor.
In 1695 he was elected member of the Academy of Inscriptions, and also of the Académie française; not long after, as payment for his share in the medallic history of the king's reign, he was appointed keeper of the library of the Louvre. He died two years after his wife.
The most important of his works were his editions of Pompeius Festus and Marcus Verrius Flaccus, and his translations of Horace (with, notes), Aristotle's Poetics, the Electra and Oedipus Coloneus of Sophocles, Epictetus, Hippocrates and Plutarch's Lives.
His wife, Anne Lefèvre, was also a learned translator of the classics.