Quenya zR5Ì#


noun. Elf, Elf, (lit.) one of the Star-folk, Elven, one of the Star-folk, Elves in general

The most common Quenya word for “Elf”. Its literal meaning is “one of the Star-folk” (WJ/374), a name given to them by Oromë (S/49) and derived from the same primitive root √EL as Q. elen “star”. Strictly speaking, this term excludes the Avari who chose not to journey to Valinor, so that the proper term for all of Elvenkind is Q. Quendë “one of the Elven race”. The Elves of the West rarely encountered the Avari, however, so that term Elda was ordinarily broad enough to describe all Elves.

Conceptual Development: This word dates back to the earliest stages of Tolkien’s languages. At its first appearance, ᴱQ. Elda was glossed “a beach-fay” (QL/35), but was soon extended to describe all Elves (LT1/113). In Tolkien’s earliest writings the word was not given a clear etymology. In the Lhammas “Account of Tongues” from the 1930s (LR/168-180), Tolkien gave ᴹQ. Elda the sense of “one who departed” (LR/169), as opposed to the ᴹQ. Lembi “Lingerers” who remained behind (precursors of the Avari). With this sense, Elda was derived from ᴹ√LED “go, fare, travel” (Ety/LED).

Tolkien soon revised the etymology of Elda so that it was derived instead from ᴹ√EL(ED) “star; star-folk” (Ety/EL, Ety/ELED). In some later writings, he considered both etymologies of this word to be valid, so that Elda was blending of both “star-folk” (from √EL) and Q. Eldo “marcher” (from √LED or √DEL¹), as discussed in the “Quendi and Eldar” essay from 1959-60 and elsewhere (WJ/362-3, PE17/139). However, the sense “star-folk” is probably better known.

In some notes from 1957, Tolkien considered deriving this word from a variant root √DEL² “fair” so that its meaning would be “the fair” (PE17/151), but this seems to have been a transient idea.

[Let/198.2307; Let/281.2205; LotR/1127.2905; LotR/1137.2308; LotRI/Eldar.001; LRI/Edhil.002; MRI/Eldar.001; MRI/Eldar.004; PE17/045.1001; PE17/056.1103; PE17/057.1008; PE17/114.1202; PE17/135.2402; PE17/135.2414; PE17/139.1302; PE17/139.1907; PE17/151.1208; PE17/152.0606; PE17/189.4007-1; PE21/73.1713; PE21/73.1908; PE21/77.1605; PE21/77.3111; PE21/77.3209; PE21/77.3214; PE22/155.3408; PM/029.3606; PM/346.4003-1; PM/395.1404; PM/403.0810; PMI/Eldar.001; PMI/Eldar.004; RC/217.1306; RC/780.1604; RC/780.1607; S/049.3102; S/049.3201; SA/êl.071; SA/êl.079; SI/Eldar.001; SI/High Elves.004; TII/Eldar.001; UTI/Eldanna.017; UTI/Eldar.017; VT49/08.2401; VT49/08.3505; VT49/08.3705; WJ/362.2702; WJ/362.2711; WJ/364.0202; WJ/364.0203; WJ/368.4002; WJ/369.0201; WJ/369.0205; WJ/369.1110; WJ/369.1201; WJ/373.0202; WJ/374.1701; WJ/374.3304; WJ/375.3810; WJ/407.2109; WJ/407.2203; WJI/Eldar.001; WJI/Eldar.004; WRI/Eldar.001] Group: Eldamo. Published by


of the stars

elda 1. originally adj. "of the stars", but wholly replaced (WJ:362) by: 2. noun (Elda) = one of the people of the Stars, (high-)elf, an Elf (SA:êl, elen, Letters:281, ELED, ÉLED; notice that Tolkien abandoned a former etymology with "depart"), chiefly in the pl. Eldar (WJ:362, cf. GAT(H), TELES).The primitive form Tolkien variously cited as ¤eledā / elenā(Letters:281, PE17:152) and ¤eldā(WJ:360). Partitive pl. Eldali (VT49:8), gen. pl. Eldaron (WJ:368, PM:395, 402);dative pl.eldain "for elves", for Eldar (FS); possessive sg. Eldava "Elf's" (WJ:407); possessive pl. Eldaiva (WJ:368), Eldaivë governing a plural word (WJ:369). The word Eldar properly refers to the non-Avari Elves only, but since Eldar rarely had any contact with the Avari, it could be used for "elves" in general (in LT1:251, Elda is simply glossed "Elf"). See also Eldo. The plural form Eldar should not require any article when the reference is to the entire people; i Eldar refers to a limited group, "(all) the Elves previously named"; nevertheless, Tolkien in some sources does use the article even where the reference seems to be generic (i Eldar or i-Eldar, VT49:8).



Eldo noun, archaic variant of Elda, properly one of the "Marchers" from Cuiviénen, but the word went out of use (WJ:363, 374)


eldarin, elvish

Eldarin adj. derived from Elda: "Eldarin, Elvish" (Silm, ÉLED). Also in the longer form Eldarinwa (pl. Eldarinwë in VT47:14, in the title Eldarinwë leperi ar notessi, "The Eldarin fingers and numerals")


of the stars

elena adj. "of the stars" (SA:êl, elen); also elenya


the highest word of praise for beauty

vanimelda adj., said to be "the highest word of praise for beauty", with two interpretations that were apparently considered equally valid and simultaneously true: "beautiful and beloved" (vanima + melda, with haplology), i.e. "movingly lovely", but also "elven-fair" (fair as an Elf) (vanima + elda). The word was also used as the second name of Arwen. (PE17:56, Second Edition LotR1:II ch. 16).



Elendil masc. name"Star-friend", "Lover or student of stars", applied to those devoted to astronomical lore. However, when the Edain used this name they intended it to mean "Elf-friend", confusing elen "star" and elda "elf" (WJ:410). (This idea that the name was misapplied seems to be late; Tolken earlier interpreted the name as an ancient compound Eled + ndil so that the meaning really was "Elf-friend"; see Letters:386. See also NIL/NDIL in the Etymologies, where Elendil is equated with "Ælfwine", Elf-friend.) Allative Elendilenna "to Elendil" (PM:401); Elendil Vorondo genitive of Elendil Voronda "Elendil the Steadfast" _(CO) Pl. Elendili the Númenórean Elf-friends (Silm)_; the variant Elendilli in SD:403 would seem to presuppose a stem-form Elendill- not attested elsewhere. Tar-Elendil a Númenorean king, UT:210.

Sindarin iT2#7T5


noun. Elda, Elf

[Let/281.2701; Let/281.2703; PE17/139.2616; PE17/139.2618; PE17/140.1904; SA/êl.091; UTI/Haudh-en-Elleth.034; WJ/363.0802; WJ/363.0804; WJ/363.0808; WJ/377.4203; WJ/377.4205; WJI/Elen.001; WJI/Elen.003; WJI/Elen.004] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[LRI/Edhil.001; PE17/045.0905; PE17/097.2003; PE17/097.3101; PE17/097.3102; PE17/139.2809; PE17/139.2811; PE17/139.2812; PE17/141.0201; PE17/151.1210; PE17/152.0806; PE17/152.0808; PM/346.4001-1; RC/780.1711; RGEO/62.3603; SA/edhel.001; SA/edhel.010; SA/êl.081; SA/êl.083; SI/Sindar.121; SI/Sindar.123; UT/255.2301; UT/318.4109; UTI/Edhelrim.001; UTI/Edhelrim.006; WJ/364.1302; WJ/364.1304; WJ/364.2707; WJ/377.3002; WJ/377.3004; WJ/377.3807; WJ/378.0207; WJ/378.2806-2; WJI/Edhel.001; WJI/Edhel.003] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[Let/281.3109; PE17/141.0601; PE17/141.0703; PE17/152.1006; VT50/15.0503; VT50/19.1503; VT50/23.0107; WJ/363.0502; WJ/363.0608; WJ/363.0611; WJ/363.0702; WJ/364.1607; WJ/364.1904; WJ/364.2409; WJ/364.2411; WJ/377.3706; WJ/377.4102; WJ/377.4104; WJ/412.2005-1] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[PE17/140.1905; PE17/141.0302-2; PE17/141.0303] Group: Eldamo. Published by



(Elf of the Great Journey, as opposed to the Avari) calben (i galben, o chalben), pl. celbin (i chelbin). The general word for Elves, Elidh or Edhil, may be used in the sense of Quenya Eldar (which itself is often used in a generalized sense: any kind of Elves).

Telerin 1RjR7T5


noun/adjective. Elf

[WJ/362.3502; WJ/364.0608; WJ/375.3504; WJI/Eldar.014] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[WJ/362.3507; WJ/364.0602; WJ/364.1002; WJ/373.0206; WJ/375.3502; WJ/376.0105; WJI/Eldar.013; WJI/Eldar.016] Group: Eldamo. Published by



noun. Elf, Elf, (lit.) Shining One

A noun translated “Elf” (WJ/419) and fully declined as an example of a Strong I noun (SD/436). In one place, its plural Nimrî was translated “Shining Ones” (SD/358), which indicates was probably derived from the Primitive Adûnaic root √NIMIR.

Conceptual Development: In its earliest appearances from the 1940s, this noun had the plural form Nimrî (SD/358, 388) as opposed to later plural Nimîr (SD/388, 436), which could indicate either an earlier singular form Nimri or a variant syntax for draft-plural formation. The word also appears in Tolkien’s “Quendi and Eldar” essay from 1959-60 (WJ/386), indicating that this word survived in Tolkien’s later conception of Adûnaic.

[SD/358.3909; SD/388.0701; SD/388.0703; SD/389.07071; SD/414.0613; SD/436.3008; SD/436.3304; SD/436.3404; SD/436.3503; SD/436.3604; SD/436.3705; SD/436.3804; SDI2/Nimrî.001; SDI2/Nimrî.008; WJ/386.0807; WJ/419.1106; WJI/Nimîr.001; WJI/Nimîr.006] Group: Eldamo. Published by

Noldorin 5^mY7T5


noun. Elf, Star-folk, Elf

[Ety/ELED.010; Ety/ELED.046; Ety/ELED.048; Ety/ELED.050; Ety/KWEN(ED).019; Ety/LÁYAK.017-2] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[Ety/KWEN(ED).008; Ety/KWEN(ED).010; Ety/KWEN(ED).016; EtyAC/SET.019] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[EtyAC/MOR.062-2; PE22/067.0608; PE22/067.0618; PE22/067.0620] Group: Eldamo. Published by

Beware, older languages below! The languages below were invented during Tolkien's earlier period and should be used with caution. Remember to never, ever mix words from different languages!

Primitive elvish


noun. an Elf, star-folk, of the stars

[Let/281.2111; Let/386.3203; PE17/140.1706; PE17/141.0602; PE21/73.3213; PE21/73.3214; PE21/77.1203; PE21/81.1904; SA/êl.049; WJ/360.2303; WJ/364.0104; WJ/364.0106] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf, the fair

[PE17/139.1611; PE17/151.1201; PE17/151.1205] Group: Eldamo. Published by


root. Elf

[PE17/137.3501; PE17/158.1901; PE18/084.3507; PE19/093.0506] Group: Eldamo. Published by

Qenya zR5Ì#


noun. a beach-fay, beach-fay, Elf

[GG/13.0509; GL/32.2303; LBI/Eldar.001; LT1/114.2909; LT1/235.0907; LT1/235.1205; LT1A/Eldamar.081; LT1A/Eldar.001; LT1A/Eldar.004; LT1I/Eldar.001; LT1I/Eldar.003; LT2A/Eglamar.056; LT2I/Eldar.001; PE13/099.0601; PE13/155.1601; PE14/009.0301; PE14/047.1112; PE14/047.1114; PE14/047.1714; PE14/050.2202; PE14/050.2207; PE14/079.2405; PE14/079.2409; PE14/079.2705; PE14/083.3211; PE14/083.3215; PE14/083.3602; PE14/084.0313; PE15/23.6505; PE15/61.1103; PE15/62.0507; PE15/62.0509; PE15/71.6303; QL/035.2901; QL/043.2601; WJI/Egla.005] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. ‘departed’ Elf, Elf, Star-folk, Elf

[Ety/ELED.006; Ety/ELED.038; EtyAC/EDE.008; LR/072.0905; LR/072.1301; LR/072.3703; LR/169.0805; LR/169.1002; LR/181.1303; LR/197.2001; LR/212.3202; LR/218.0706; LR/218.1002; LRI/Eldar.001; LRI/Eldar.002; PE18/024.0106; PE21/57.1116; PE21/57.1118; PE21/57.3106; PE21/57.3109; PE22/124.0110; PE22/124.0908; PE22/125.0708; SD/401.3409; SDI2/Eldar.001; SDI2/Eledâi.002; SDI2/Nimrî.005; SMI/Eldar.001] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[GL/32.2403; LRI/Qendi.001; LT1/235.0705; LT1I/Qendi.001; PE13/099.1201; PE13/146.7204; PE13/146.7206; PE14/009.1612; PE14/009.1701; QL/092.1403; SM/013.1107; SM/168.3303] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[Ety/KWEN(ED).005; LR/119.1709; LR/168.2103; LR/212.3104; LRI/Qendi.002; MRI/Quendi.002; PE18/023.0313; PE19/059.0301; PE21/19.2605; PE21/19.3505; PE21/25.0202; PE21/25.0401; PE21/25.0402; PE21/25.0403; PE21/25.0404; PE21/25.0405; PE21/25.0406; PE21/25.0407; PE21/25.0408; PE21/25.0505; PE21/25.0506; PE21/25.0601; PE21/25.0602; PE21/25.0801; PE21/25.0802; PE21/25.0803; PE21/25.0804; PE21/25.0805; PE21/25.0806; PE21/25.1001; PE21/25.1002; PE21/25.1201; PE21/25.1202; PE21/25.1203; PE21/25.1204; PE21/25.1205; PE21/25.1206; PE21/25.1401; PE21/25.1402; PE21/25.1403; PE21/25.1404; PE21/25.1405; PE21/25.1503; PE21/25.1809; PE21/25.2103; PE21/25.2114; PE21/25.2205; PE21/25.2614; PE21/25.2701; PE21/25.2702; PE21/25.2703; PE21/25.2704; PE21/25.2705; PE21/25.2709; PE21/25.2902; PE21/69.0907; SM/085.0202; SM/086.1102; SMI/Quendi.007; TII/Qendi.001] Group: Eldamo. Published by



noun. Elf

A Doriathrin noun meaning “Elf” derived from primitive ᴹ✶kwenedē (EtyAC/KWEN(ED)), an example of the Ilkorin syncope.

Conceptual Development: This word is nearly identical to earlier Gnomish Cwenn “Elf” before Tolkien revised the phonological history of the Noldorin language so that [kw] became [p].

[EtyAC/KWEN(ED).007] Group: Eldamo. Published by



noun. Elf

A noun for “Elf” developed from primitive ᴹ✶kwenedē (Ety/KWEN(ED)). It is an example of the Danian syncope, with second unstressed [e] vanishing after the identical vowel. It is also one of the Danian words for which a long final vowel developed into short final [a].

[Ety/KWEN(ED).012] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf, Star-folk, Elf

A noun for “Elf” derived from primitive ᴹ✶edel-, an inversion of the primitive root ᴹ√ELED (Ety/ELED). Unlike most similar Danian nouns, it did not undergo the Danian syncope and retained its second vowel. One possible explanation is that the primitive form of this noun ended in a short vowel, *✶edelă, and this short final vowel vanished before the period of the syncope, preventing it from occurring in this word. Helge Fauskanger originally suggested a theory much like this one (AL-Nandorin/edel).

Conceptual Development: In an earlier version of this entry, the Danian word for Elf was given as Elda (Ety/ELED).

[Ety/ELED.064; Ety/ELED.092] Group: Eldamo. Published by

Middle Primitive Elvish


root. Elf

[Ety/KWEN(ED).001; PE18/034.0404; PE18/061.1413] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. Elf

[Ety/KWEN(ED).003; PE19/057.1301; PE19/059.0217; PE21/25.1911; PE21/25.2206; PE21/69.0906] Group: Eldamo. Published by



noun. Elf

[GL/28.6301; GL/28.6707; GL/32.2405; GL/32.2904; PE13/099.1207; PE14/009.1702] Group: Eldamo. Published by

Early Noldorin


noun. Elf

[PE13/146.6901; PE13/146.7103; PE13/146.7201] Group: Eldamo. Published by

Black Speech, Nandorin, Noldorin, Quendya, Quenya, Sindarin, Telerin are languages conceived by Tolkien and they do not belong to us; we neither can nor do claim affiliation with Middle-earth Enterprises nor Tolkien Estate.