The 1 metre (3.3 ft) long creature resembled its bigger, earlier relative Merycoidodon, but was more specialized. Brachycrus had jaws which were short, and because the nostrils were placed far to the back the creature is presumed to have a tapir-like proboscis. Brachycrus was named by Matthew 1901 as a subgenus of Merycochoerus and raised to genus level by Palmer in 1904. It was synonymized subjectively with Ticholeptus by Thorpe (1937). It was assigned to Merycoidodontidae by Palmer (1904), Schultz and Falkenbach (1940), Schultz and Falkenbach (1968), Kelly and Lander (1988) and Lander (1998).
A single specimen was examined for body mass by M. Mendoza and estimated to weigh 328.7 kilograms (725 lb).