The Embarras River (pronounced "EM-brah" or "AM-brah") is a tributary of the Wabash River, 185 mi (298 km) long, in southeastern Illinois in the United States. The waters of the Embarras reach the Gulf of Mexico via the Wabash, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers. The river drains a watershed of approximately 1,566,450 acres (2,440 sq mi/6,320 km²) in an agricultural region. The name comes from French explorers, who used the term embarras for river obstacles, blockages, and difficulties relating to logjams and the like.
The Embarras River rises in Champaign County. The upper reaches of the Embarras include: the detention ponds near the intersection of Windsor Road with U.S. Route 45 in southeastern Champaign; the southern portion of the University of Illinois campus, including the small creek near the Vet Med Building; and Meadowbrook Park in south Urbana.
The Embarras flows generally southward through Douglas, Coles, Cumberland and Jasper Counties. In Jasper County it turns southeastwardly for the remainder of its course through Richland, Crawford and Lawrence Counties. Portions of the river's lower course have been straightened and channelized. It joins the Wabash River 6 mi (9.7 km) southwest of Vincennes, Indiana.
Along its course the Embarras passes the towns of Villa Grove, Camargo, Charleston, Greenup, Newton, Ste. Marie and Lawrenceville.