In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, Elves are one of the races that inhabit a fictional Earth, often called Middle-earth, and set in the remote past. They appear in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, but their complex history is described more fully in The Silmarillion. Tolkien had been writing about Elves long before he published The Hobbit.
Dictionary source: Tolkien´s Glossary
English to English translation of Quendi
Original Elvish name for Elves (of every kind, including the Avari), meaning 'Those that speak with voices'. 'Those who speak with voices'; the name given by the Elves to their own kind while they still dwelt at Cuiviénen. When the first Elves awoke, they thought themselves to be the only beings in Arda capable of speech, and so took this name for themselves. Oromë originally named all the Elves Eldar (People of the Stars), though it later came to be used only of the Three Kindreds who began the Great Journey.