This article introduces predefined-time stable dynamical systems which are a class of fixed-time stable dynamical systems with settling time as an explicit parameter that can be defined in advance. This concept allows for the design of observers and controllers for problems that require to fulfil hard time constraints. An example is encountered in the fault detection and isolation problem, where mode detection in a timely manner needs to be guaranteed in order to apply a recovery action. Furthermore, through the notion of strong predefined-time stability, the approach hereinafter presented permits to overcome the problem of overestimation of the convergence time bound encountered in previous methods for the analysis of finite-time stable systems, where the stabilization time is often an unbounded function of the initial conditions of the system. A Lyapunov analysis is provided together with a detailed discussion of the applications to consensus and first order sliding mode controller design.