"Emesa" is a compound of "Ham-Es", with the Es representing an assemblage of the locally revered sun god in (El-Gabal) in ancient times. The name "Emesa" or "Hemesa" is also attributed to "Emesenoi", the name of the Arab tribe that ruled the area before its incorporation into the Roman Empire. When the name of the tribe became attached to the city is indiscernible, but is generally thought to have been used under the Romans.
"Emesa" was shortened to "Homs" or "Hims" by its Arab inhabitants, many of whom settled there prior to the Muslim conquest of Syria. This name has been preserved throughout the period of Islamic rule continuing to the present day. It was known as "la Chamelle" by the Crusaders, although they never ruled the city.A second possibility about the origin of the city's modern name is that it is an Arabic form of the city's Latin name "Emesus", derived from the Greek "Emesa" or "Emesos".