Eldar (singular Elda) was the name given to the Elves by the Vala Oromë when he first found them wandering in the starlight of Cuiviénen. At first, the name was applied to all Elves, but after the summons of the Valar, it came to be used only for the West-elves who followed the summons and began the Great Journey.
Many of the Teleri also journeyed to Valinor, but twice a host of this people turned away from the Journey in Middle-earth; these two kindreds are called Úmanyar, the Eldar not of Aman. The first of these were the Nandor, who turned aside east of the Misty Mountains, and travelled down the River Anduin. The second, the Sindar, tarried in Beleriand seeking their lord, Elwë Singollo.
Tolkien notes the accidental similarity between the word "Eldar" and "Elder"(as in "Elder Folk" or "Elder Days") and that it is unrelated to English and therefore should not be any attempt to imitate it.
 In popular usage
The name "Eldar" has been used for Elven-like races in later fiction. Eldar is a humanoid being, descendant of an ancient interstellar Empire in the Warhammer 40K universe. Eldar is also a race of Elves in the Midkemia cycle by Raymond E. Feist.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of the Elves"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 755-6 & 780
(Quendi · People of the Stars · Firstborn · Elder Kindred)
(Eldar · Eldalië · Edhil)
|Vanyar (Fair-elves · Minyar) · Noldor (Deep-elves · Tatyar) · Teleri (Lindar · Nelyar)|
(High-elves · Amanyar)
|Vanyar · Noldor · Falmari|
|Úmanyar:||Sindar (Grey-elves · Eglath) · Nandor (Green-elves · Silvan Elves)|
|Moriquendi:||Úmanyar · Avari (Dark Elves · The Unwilling)|
|See Also:||Awakening of the Elves · Sundering of the Elves · Great Journey|