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In the fictional oeuvre of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Avari are a branch of the Elves. Their story is thus: When Orom came to the land of Cuivienen, where the Elves had come into being, and dwelt and summoned them to the land of Valinor, they were suspicious of him. Three of the Elven tribes elected to send their leaders to Valinor to investigate. These were Elw of the Teleri, Finw of the Noldor, and Ingw of the Vanyar. In due time, Elw, Finw and Ingw returned to Cuivienen, and told the Elves of the glory of Valinor, and there befell the Sundering of the Elves. The Vanyar and the Noldor were persuaded, along with some of the Teleri, and followed Orom into the west. These have been known ever since by the name Eldar, which Orom gave to them in their own language. The remainder of the Teleri, along with other, unknown tribes, remained suspicious, and spread gradually throughout the wide lands of Middle-earth. They have been known ever since by the name Avari, meaning 'the Unwilling' or 'Those who Refused the Summons' in their ancestral language.

Having never come to Valinor, the Avari remained a wild folk, dwellers of forests. Little is known of them. Word has not come down about any cities they have built, or great deeds they have done. It is rumored, however, that some of the Avari were captured by Morgoth, taken to the pits of Utumno, and bred into Orcss.