Balan (“power, god”) + (n-)dor (“land, dwelling”)
noun. land of Gods
'the Land of the Valar'
topon. 'the Land of the Valar'. Q. Valandor.
place name. Land of the Valar
Conceptual Development: The first cognates of ᴱQ. Valinor appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon from the 1910s: (rejected) G. Dor Banion and G. Gwalien (GL/21, LT2A/Valar). In The Etymologies of the 1930s, the cognate was N. Balannor (Ety/BAL), and this is the source of the derivation given above.
In a letter from 1972, Tolkien stated that Belain (plural of Balan) was not a word in Sindarin (Let/427). Furthermore, in Silmarillion revisions from the 1950s-60s, he changed the Sindarin name for the “Annals of Valinor” from N. Inias Valannor to S. Ínias Dor-Rodyn (MR/200). It is possible that Tolkien decided that the normal Sindarin word for the Vala was S. Rodon, so that S. Dor-Rodyn was the equivalent of Valinor.
Word Gloss Balan “Vala, Vala, [N.] Power, God” dôr “land, land, [N.] region where certain people live, [ᴱN.] country; [G.] people of the land”